The Hundred isn’t the only competition which begins on Thursday as the Royal London One Day Cup gets started with five matches taking place across the two groups as 10 teams will look to take advantage of the hot weather to get their campaign underway.
Obviously this competition falls foul to The Hundred when it comes to the TV schedule so we have to head to the county streams to watch any match in the tournament but they are perfectly good enough to see us through the day.
The action begins in Group A with two matches including the 2018 champions and runners up the following year in Hampshire. They play host to Essex in a match where the visitors are probably favoured given the amount of home absences to The Hundred. The other match in the group sees the South Group winners in the Vitality Blast, Kent, looking to show they can play 50 over cricket as well when they go up against a Durham side who will hope their academy can yield good results in this competition.
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The big match in Group B sees two of the heavyweight counties fighting it out for an early win when Surrey make the long trip to Scarborough to take on Yorkshire. Sadly The Hundred has claimed plenty of players from both sides so this might be more like a second XI game. Warwickshire have qualified for the second stage of both competitions so far and they start their quest to do the same in this tournament with a trip to Cardiff to take on Glamorgan while the other match in the group sees Leicestershire playing hosts to a Derbyshire side who have been ravaged by Covid-19.
Obviously I’ll keep bets at a minimum in the early part of this tournament while we work out who is available for who and where those who are in action will line up but there is a bet which strikes my fancy on Thursday which comes in the Group B match at Leicester where I think Leicestershire should be a little bit shorter than they are against a Derbyshire side who have been through the ringer in the last week or two.
Derbyshire had to cancel their last two Vitality Blast matches and abandon their last County Championship match because of Covid-19. They have completed the isolation issues but they have basically lost their entire middle order to The Hundred and those who have remained with the club won’t have been able to do much practicing recently. In an ideal world Leicestershire would have Colin Ackermann and Callum Parkinson but they do have Marcus Harris while the likes of Aaron Lilley, Harry Dearden and Rishi Patel are all good enough for this level. Leicestershire have had the more settled path into the match and I think they can come out on top in it.
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