There is another match in The Hundred on Tuesday evening as the competition heads back to Lord’s where two of the bottom three in the table meet when the London Spirit welcome the inaugural champions Southern Brave.
The season hasn’t really got going for either of these sides just yet but with the weather improving they have the opportunity for that to change here and with the pressure on them we should be in for an interesting encounter.
Where to watch
The match will be shown live and in full on the Sky Cricket and Sky Mix channels with the build-up in the capital beginning at 6pm ahead of the first ball at 6.30pm.
You got the feeling when the London Spirit went down to the Oval Invincibles in the final five balls in their opening match that they might live to rue losing a match they completely dominated until the last 10 or so balls of their bowling innings. Having their second match rained off has kind of left them having to play catch up and they really need to get off the mark here, especially with this being one of their four home matches.
The early concern for the Spirit is that their bowling is leaking a little too much oil. It is very rare that Nathan Ellis is expensive at the end of an innings while they got blown away at the start of the innings against the Manchester Original. The other issue for them was that collapse with the bat against the Oval Invincibles and that already looks like it could be costly as they really should have won that match with the cricket that they played.
The Southern Brave have been one of the lucky ones who haven’t run into any weather issues but it hasn’t really served them too great because they have won one and lost two of their opening three matches and looked out of the picture in the one that they won. The previous campaign for the Brave was no good and the early signs are that this season is going to follow suit on that so they need a convincing performance as well as a win here to prove they are on the right track.
The Brave bowling got absolutely smashed to all parts in the previous match and that has to be a concern because this is a team who really need to ride their bowlers while a number of players in what was already a light looking batting unit find their form. The Brave reach the halfway mark in this match and if they lose it they will be faced with the task of winning their last four in order to have a chance of qualifying, so the first winners of the tournament are beginning to run out of wiggle room.
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Ravi Bopara showed up well in the previous match for the London Spirit, bringing back the Manchester Originals after they got off to a complete flyer. He could be important in the middle of both innings for the Spirit.
If there was a positive for the Brave in their emphatic defeat to the Northern Superchargers on Sunday it comes in the form of the innings Tim David put together. He is one of the players they need in good form so that knock bodes well for them at least.
It looks like we are going to need some luck with the rain once again if we are going to get a full match here. It might be that this one isn’t a full game so I certainly wouldn’t want to be betting on the outcome of it until we know the result of the toss. I’ve waited until the women’s game was due to start to see how conditions were and there are puddles on the outfield which doesn’t bode brilliantly well, although the Lord’s drainage is good which does help.
I’ll take the chance that we do dodge the rain during the men’s game and play under 35.5 boundaries. The pitch has been under cover for much of the day so there is bound to be some moisture in it early on and both teams have swing bowlers who can utilise that up top and I wouldn’t be surprised were one or both sides three or four down early. The outfield will be damp even with the Lord’s drainage and there is likely to be a longer boundary one side of the ground as is often the case at this stage of the season. This feels like a low scoring game to be where the bowlers have the chance to thrive so I’ll play the under in the hope we get all the balls in.
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