The third season of The Hundred comes to a close on Sunday evening when the Oval Invincibles take on the Manchester Originals in the final of the competition at Lord’s, where we are guaranteed a new name on the trophy.
Neither of these two teams have won this title before. Oval will be completing in their first final while Manchester do at least know what the title match is like having been beaten in the final here a year ago.
Where to watch
The final will be shown live and in full on BBC Two as well as Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Cricket and Sky Mix. The build-up begins at 5.30pm with the clash beginning at 6pm.
It looked from a fairly long way out that the Oval Invincibles would be the ones who would bypass the Eliminator and head straight through to the final and it will be interesting to see if they emulate the Trent Rockets in taking advantage of skipping that game and going on to win the final. If the final was a week ago you could see them being the team to beat but we have hit that part of the campaign where players are coming and going.
That means that the Invincibles have lost a couple of key bowlers in Spencer Johnson and Adam Zampa, both of whom have gone off to join up with Australia ahead of their white ball series in South Africa. Oval have moved to strengthen their batting but you sense that they had enough with the bat anyway. They will need their core of English bowlers to really step up and be counted if they are going to win the title.
Being involved in the Eliminator is a double edged sword. On one hand you enter the final off the back of a win and have plenty of confidence from that but on the other you have to back up a performance the next day which is never the easiest thing to do, especially when it was a rollercoaster clash like that one was. The big thing for the Originals heading into this final is a number of players contributed to the win in the Eliminator.
Manchester showed in the Eliminator that they can come out on top in a high scoring match and that might be significant because when you look at their bowling attack it look like they can go the distance if things start going wrong. To be fair to them, the pitch at The Oval on Saturday evening was brilliant for batting and when you add in the amount of rain that fell throughout the day there was nothing in the game for the bowlers.
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Jason Roy is no stranger to playing in a big white ball final and if he can get after this Manchester Originals attack and get it on the back foot then Oval will be well on the way to the big score they are likely to need.
Phil Salt has been in belligerent form at times in this tournament and if he can start taking this Oval attack apart then there could be memories revived of the Eliminator which would allow the Originals to get on a charge.
Oval Invincibles battered the Manchester Originals when these two met in the regular season but the headline act in that match was that incredible spell of Spencer Johnson which went for a single run from 20 balls. He isn’t around to repeat those heroics here though so I’m expecting a much more even match and one which I just don’t see how it isn’t high scoring. Southern Brave took this Manchester attack apart on Saturday night and I’m expecting similar here.
On the flip side of that, I just don’t see how Manchester don’t have their own way with a bowling unit which has been decimated late on in the competition. Even one or two of those who are left haven’t had much bowling in their legs this summer so this is certainly a final where I expect the bat to dominate the ball. It is usually always a good batting track at Lord’s and the last two matches have been relatively high scoring. I expect this to follow that trend.
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