The Oval Invincibles topped the men’s Hundred table following a nine-run win over the Northern Superchargers on Friday night, and the London outfit bid to keep their unbeaten record intact when they head to Edgbaston to take on Birmingham Phoenix in a match beginning at 6.00pm on Sunday evening, August 13th.
England internationals Liam Livingstone and Moeen Ali missed Birmingham’s opening match but have been in the team for the next three games, one of which was rained off. Pakistan’s Shadab Khan will play for the last time before Tanveer Sangha replaces him in the squad.
Tom Curran has been struggling with an injury problem so Oval Invincibles could choose to stick with the same team which led them to wins over the Manchester Originals and the Northern Superchargers. South African batter Heinrich Klaasen is available for their next three matches before James Neesham steps in.
Oval Invincibles Match Winner @ 8/11
After finishing fourth and fifth in the first two editions of The Hundred, Oval Invincibles are doing a better job of living up to their name this season and they can maintain their unbeaten record with a victory over a struggling Birmingham Phoenix side.
Oval boast a strong squad composed of England internationals including openers Jason Roy and Will Jacks, wicketkeeper-captain Sam Billings and Sam Curran, supported by some talented overseas players who have produced some standout performances including Klaasen, who has struck scores of 60 and 46 in their last two matches.
West Indian spinner Sunil Narine is a canny white-ball operator while Australian seamer Spencer Johnson produced remarkable bowling figures on debut against Manchester Originals on Wednesday night, taking three wickets from 20 balls for the loss of just one run.
After two sedate performances, the Oval batsmen clicked into gear against the Originals as Roy (59) and Jacks (32) started well before Klaasen fired them to a total of 186 and they repeated the dose two nights later when posting 185 against the Superchargers.
On paper, Phoenix boast similar batting firepower but Ali, Livingstone, Ben Duckett and Will Smeed have failed to fire so far with Duckett’s unbeaten 34 in their abandoned season opener still their highest individual score.
Birmingham have posted totals of 111 and 112 in two completed innings and a similar performance is unlikely to cut it against their in-form visitors.
Gus Atkinson Top Oval Invincibles Wicket Taker @ 4/1
Gus Atkinson has been tipped for an England call-up for this month’s T20 series against New Zealand and the Oval quick can continue to catch the eye of the selectors by tormenting the toiling Birmingham batsman at Edgbaston.
The 25-year-old Londoner has impressed in red-ball cricket for Surrey this season and he’s continued that fine form in the Hundred, claiming a competition-leading nine wickets at 10.66 and clocking up speeds of around 95mph.
Atkinson led the way with the ball in the tie against Welsh Fire, claiming 3/26, then he took 3/24 against the Superchargers on Friday evening.