The second London derby of the season makes up the action in The Hundred on Tuesday when the table topping Oval Invincibles take on their rivals London Spirit is what should be an entertaining contest at the Kia Oval.
Oval begin the night on top of the table and could all but secure a spot in the knockout stages with a win here while the Spirit begin the night second from bottom in the table but could move up to second should they win.
Where to watch
The match will be shown live and in full on the Sky Cricket and Sky Mix channels with the build-up to it beginning at 6pm ahead of a 6.30pm start.
The Oval Invincibles were brought back down to earth a little over the weekend. They had made an unbeaten start to the competition and had three wins and a tie heading to Edgbaston but they came unstuck on a night where nothing really went right for them and where a couple of absences hurt them quite badly. They are still in a decent position in the table though and as long as they have regrouped and got ready to go again they still have their destiny in their own hands.
We are at that point in the season where players are coming and going because of international duty and CPL commitments and Oval will be without Sunil Narine for the first time here. Adam Zampa is a more than adequate replacement but he will need to hit the ground running. The other issue Oval have is the season ending injury that Jordan Cox picked up last time out. He was really hitting some rich form so his absence will be key.
The weather hasn’t helped the London Spirit and neither has the schedule really. They have played less games than every other team in the tournament but their win over the Trent Rockets on Saturday has ensured that they are still very much a factor in this event if they can pick up from where they left off. They play four matches in the last week of the group phase so if they can get on a roll they could easily move into a position to launch a title tilt.
The good thing about the Spirit is they don’t have many players leaving them so they will be able to maintain a settled unit. They have sent a couple of their players away to compete in the Metro Bank One Day Cup to keep them active as well which is no bad thing. The concern is that they haven’t really hit their straps with the ball just yet but I would imagine that is largely down to damp conditions and only being on the park with the ball for two full innings in more than two weeks.
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Will Jacks is often the one to get Oval Invincibles off to a decent start in the innings and if he can do that here it will have his team on his way. He might also be called upon to bowl a couple of sets with Oval seamers having to be managed.
Dan Lawrence showed exactly why he will be playing his home county cricket at this venue in the previous London Spirit match when his majestic 93 from just 49 balls set up the win for his team. Spirit will want much more of the same from their captain here.
This feels like a trappy match to bet on because Oval are just entering that phase where continuity is going to become an issue while the Spirit come into this one off the back of a good win but by virtue of the fact they have only played two full matches it is hard to really judge them properly. The one thing we do know is that they were in a winning position in the first game between these two but faltered when the finish line came along. They might be the value but I’ll have a small player instead.
That is for Nathan Sowter to be the leading wicket taker for the Oval Invincibles. He achieved that in the reverse meeting between these two and has generally bowled well throughout the tournament. It is actually Gus Atkinson who has the most wickets this season for Oval but he missed the last game with a shoulder issue and that always sends negative vibes out to me, especially with him seemingly on the England radar now. If he plays he is likely to pick up a cheap wicket at the death but in the two innings London Spirit have had in this tournament leg spinners have been the leading bowler on both occasions and with the women’s match seeing plenty of turn I’ll play Sowter to lead the home bowling here.
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