The second half of the double header in The Hundred on Wednesday comes from The Oval in London where the Oval Invincibles will take on the Manchester Originals in a clash between two teams who have started brightly.
With all the weather that has been around in the first half of this competition any team who can pick up two wins in quick succession will be rising through the table and that is the opportunity on offer for both of these teams.
Where to watch
The match will be shown live and in full on BBC Two as well as the Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Mix channels. The build-up to this one begins at 6pm with the first ball due to be bowled at 6.30pm.
The Oval Invincibles go into this match unbeaten in their first two games but they probably should have been beaten in both of them. The fact that they won one and tied the other when not at their best will be encouraging but at the same time they will know that they need to find the required improvement quickly as a congested table can have a very different look without too much effort. You can’t criticise a team who haven’t lost though.
In the main, Oval have been going pretty well with the ball in this competition. That probably isn’t a surprise when they have a banker bowler such as Sunil Narine in their ranks, but they haven’t been as great with the bat in hand. They are a team who have loaded up their bowling department with overseas players and that means their home batters need to come to the party if they are going to make things easier for themselves.
The Manchester Originals are one of many teams in the competition that have been frustrated by the rain. They were surely getting into a winning position in their second match when the rain arrived to deny them a shot at victory, after previously having to compete in a 40 ball slog-a-thon where they came up just short. To their credit, in a match they really needed to win against the Birmingham Phoenix on Monday, they came up with the goods.
That was a pretty emphatic win where we saw all of the Manchester batting depth with Usama Mir producing what turned out to be a match changing cameo in the latter balls rather than a winning one. I still have concerns over their bowling but they held their nerve when they needed to against the Phoenix and picked up wickets at the right time to come out on top. A win here would have the finalists from last season nicely placed to at least replicate that effort.
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Tom Curran got the Oval Invincibles up to a tie against the Welsh Fire over the weekend with his batting exploits what caught the eye. His bowling was tidy enough though in what was a real all-round performance from the England man.
Usama Mir clubbed a quick cameo to put the Manchester Originals up to a competitive total against the Birmingham Phoenix and then came back from an expensive first five balls with the ball to deliver a key spell. He feels like a key man here.
There are some brutal hitters of a cricket ball on show in this match so I am expecting an exciting, aggressive match as far as the batters are concerned. We know the pitches at The Oval are usually good for batting and after a day of sun to get any moisture out of it we should have a perfect track for what should be a really good game of cricket between two sides who can take control of their own destiny should they win.
The sixes line for this match is 12.5 and given that we have seen the batting depth of these two sides in their outings so far in the tournament I expect that line to be covered on boundaries which certainly aren’t the biggest at the Kia Oval. I wouldn’t say there is a great deal of terror in the opening bowlers of either side so both opening partnerships should be able to get off to a fast start and set the innings up for the plethora of hitters to come. I like over 12.5 sixes here.
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