The Southern Brave were the inaugural champions of The Hundred but they rather fluffed their lines in their title defence last season when they quite simply ran out of bowling resources and so will be looking to go much better this time around. Expectations were high in Southampton a year ago not just because of the way the Brave won the first title but also Hampshire were T20 Blast champions. They might be able to go a little more under the radar here.
Last season: 7th
Captain: James Vince
Key Players: James Vince & Chris Jordan
Best Odds: 6/1 Sky Bet
August 1: Trent Rockets (a)
August 4: Welsh Fire (h)
August 6: Northern Superchargers (h)
August 8: London Spirit (a)
August 12: Welsh Fire (a)
August 16: Birmingham Phoenix (h)
August 19: Oval Invincibles (h)
August 23: Manchester Originals (a)
Jofra Archer, Tim David (Mitchell Santner from August 20), Leus du Plooy, James Vince, Chris Jordan, Devon Conway, Tymal Mills, Rehan Ahmed, Craig Overton, Finn Allen, George Garton, James Fuller, Alex Davies, Joe Weatherley, Jafer Chohan, Matt Fisher
The Southern Brave have shown two sides to their game in the two seasons of this competition. They were brilliant in the first season and went on to win the title with ease but their only wins a year ago came against a terrible Welsh Fire so they have plenty of room for improvement. Their issue last season was they simply ran out of bowling resources because of injury but they didn’t really go a long way to rectifying that in the draft.
They are unlucky that Jofra Archer can never seem to be fit for this tournament and as their England player that isn’t helping matters but Tymal Mills’ fitness can never be trusted and Matt Fisher has missed a lot of cricket recently too. Even without Quinton de Kock the batting resources look strong at the Ageas Bowl but the season will determine how often the Brave can get their better bowlers on the park and how well they deliver their skills when they are available.
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While the batting resources at the Ageas Bowl look strong, they have four players who would all probably open in an ideal world in Finn Allen, Devon Conway, James Vince and Alex Davies. Davies batted at three last season which might help but you can’t have Vince at four so they need to work out how that is going to work. It might be that someone like Tim David or Leus du Plooy get plenty of chances in the middle order but I’m not backing anyone outside the top three over eight matches so I’ll leave that market alone.
The better one to go at looks to be the bowling one anyway and while I’m not a favourite backer usually I think Chris Jordan could be a worthy market leader just on the fact he is likely to be on the park more than the others. That said though I think at twice the price Craig Overton could be the one to get on here. He is very accurate with the new ball and could easily get rid of a few batters who come after him up front. He might be vulnerable to death bowlers but if he plays more than the likes of Mills and Fisher that would do his chances no harm. Overton took 18 wickets in Somerset’s T20 Blast success and they came at a wicket every 17 balls. If he bowls all 160 balls in this competition at that average he’ll touch double figures for wickets and that might be enough to land the spoils in this market.
Back C.Overton Top Southern Brave Bowler for a 1/10 stake at 5.50 with William Hill
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