Rockets and Fire Set the Pace

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Trent Rockets and Welsh Fire have made a fine start to The Hundred but Oval Invincibles look like they could be a threat.

Trent rockets batsman Alex Hales

The Hundred is now entering its second week and with all eight teams having technically played twice, punters are beginning to gain an understanding on which sides could be a force to be reckoned with.

Trent Rockets and Welsh Fire are the early fast starters and top the men’s competition with maximum wins, while Oval Invincibles are hot on their heels with three points after one victory and a cancelled fixture.

Northern Superchargers and Southern Brave find themselves rooted to the foot of the table and still search for their first win.

The ECB’s new flagship tournament has had mixed reviews and the eight-franchise system hadn’t initially gone down well with the traditionalists.

And while it would be too soon to hail the new 100-ball tournament a success, it has been of great entertainment value as all teams are packed with star quality and boast great batting depth.

We take a look at the two fixtures taking place on Wednesday and Thursday and pinpoint the value.

Originals Can Heap the Misery on Superchargers

Northern Superchargers have lost their opening two matches in The Hundred and a hat-trick of defeats could follow against Manchester Originals at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

The Superchargers suffered a five-run loss to Welsh Fire in their opener before going down by two wickets against Trent Rockets, and their key men are struggling to find top stride.

Ben Stokes managed just ten runs across his two innings and has now left to link-up with the England Test squad while openers Chris Lynn and Adam Lyth have scored just 48 runs between.

And they must be fearing the worst with Matt Parkinson, who took 4-19 in the six-wicket win over Birmingham Phoenix last time out, leading Manchester’s classy bowling attack. The in-form spinner is 9/4 to be the Originals leading wicket-taker and is a worthy favourite.

Jos Buttler is also off to join the England team, but the Originals have an excellent top order with Philip Salt, Joe Clarke and Colin Munro in attendance. That gives the hosts the edge and at 5/6 they make plenty of appeal.

Rockets to Rack up the Hat-Trick

Alex Hales was the hero as Trent Rockets made it two wins from two with a dramatic turnaround against Northern Superchargers and he could have another starring role to play as they seek a hat-trick of successes on Thursday.

Hales smashed an unbeaten 40 from 34 balls and with D’Arcy Short and Dawid Malan also high up the pecking order, Rockets should have the measure of a depleted London Spirits.

The London-based hosts have one point after their clash with Oval Invincibles was postponed and their sole start resulted in a three-wicket defeat to Birmingham Phoenix.

Spirit are also set to be without opener Zak Crawley, who top-scored with 64 against Phoenix, and Dan Lawrence after their England call-ups, which leaves them vulnerable. At 20/29 the Rockets look an excellent bet.

With confidence restored after his winning knock, Hales is also worth backing to top score for the Rockets at 11/5.

*All odds correct at time of writing

Aaron is Mr Versatile – he covers all sports but with a particular passion for football, tennis and snooker.

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