Friday, August 11th. Headingley, Leeds. ‘Hundred’ action, featuring Northern Superchargers against Oval Invincibles.
Two of the mightier franchises clash at 6.30pm, and it’s scheduled to be covered on BBC2.
Apart from offering up the usual prayers to the weather Gods, we’ve every expectation to think that this will be an absolute belter.
Superchargers to win @ 21/20
The Superchargers, like their rivals, arrive here on the back of a win. Achieved perhaps not quite in the same grand manner, but a win’s a win.
The top order fell away like autumn leaves, including England’s Harry Brook, who didn’t trouble the scorer. Luckily the middle order found some steel to secure a precious 3-run victory against Trent Rockets.
Ahead of Wednesday night’s Phoenix/Fire result being known these two combatants at Headingley occupy the top two spots in the table, and the Superchargers will hope to rein in the Invincibles’ stroke-players on Friday. Reece Topley, Wayne Parnell and Adil Rashid will be key.
Matt Short could be due a knock for the ‘North’ – another Aussie who’s tasted success already in this year’s Hundred. I’m happy getting odds-against in what should be a close-run thing, and the Headingley faithful can play their part too.
Invincibles’ top wicket-taker Spencer Johnson @ 16/5
South Australian Spencer Johnson bagged three wickets for the Oval Invincibles on debut, in a 94-run pasting of Manchester Originals.
The 27-year-old returned figures of 3-1 off 20 deliveries hitting the 90 mph+ regions – and that’s Mark Wood-sharp. It’s also the most economical spell so far in the competition. Unsurprisingly he’s had the call from Cricket Australia for the T20 series against South Africa at the end of the month.
In fact he very nearly featured in the Ashes series that’s just concluded. He was on standby but didn’t receive the nod because Mitch Starc recovered well enough to keep his spot in the side, but this is a coming talent, make no mistake.
With his tail up and being something of a mystery (first time he’s ever been to England), I reckon he’s well worth a punt at 16/5 to maintain the fabulous form shown the other night – even though perhaps perversely I’m backing the Superchargers to win!