Another tightly-contested Hundred clash looks to be on the cards on Tuesday evening when Southern Brave (20/21 – To win) go to Cardiff to take on Welsh Fire.
This is the second game for these two in the inaugural competition so we have some form to go on ahead of the contest at Sophia Gardens.
The hosts are looking to make it two wins from two, while the Brave (4/5 – To win) need to bounce back from defeat against Trent Rockets.
As the match odds suggest, there’s little to choose between the two sides on paper, but Southern Brave may well feel they can edge it if they ensure key batsman James Vince stays at the crease for longer than he did in the opener.
Vince was out for a duck, lasting just two balls in the opener, but the experienced England star should put on a better show in Cardiff as everyone associated with Southern Brave aims for an improvement following their nine-wicket defeat against, when they could only post a total of 126.
If Vince (5/2 – Brave top runscorer) makes inroads early on, and is backed up by Alex Davies, who struck 21 on Saturday, and Ross Whiteley, who made an impressive 39 off just 29 balls against Trent, Southern Brave can get their first win on the board.
They’ve also been bolstered by the arrival of South Africa skipper Quinton de Kock, although paceman Jofra Archer still seems unlikely to feature as he continues to work his way back to full fitness
Welsh Fire held on to just about get over the line when taking a high-scoring thriller against the Superchargers in their first game but there was plenty to suggest in that clash that they can be got at.
This is Jonny Bairstow’s (23/10 – Welsh Fire top runscorer) last game before he joins up with the England Test squad so he will be keen to make his mark again after he starred at Headingley in their first game.
Bairstow’s 56 off 36 balls is one of the best individual scores so far, just eight runs short of Zak Crawley’s biggest knock in the men’s tournament to date, and he will be the man the Brave will want to get out first.
Afghan spinner Qais Ahmed is also dangerous and Lungi Ngidi is another option with the ball, although the feeling is all-rounder Jimy Neesham will get the nod to start.