Trent Rockets have made a perfect start to the inaugural season of The Hundred and they will be aiming to secure a fourth successive victory when they visit Birmingham Phoenix on Sunday afternoon (Match winner – Phoenix Evens, Rockets 4/5).
Andy Flower’s team flexed their batting muscles during their opening two games, as they successfully chased down Southern Brave and Northern Chargers to win with balls to spare, with Dawid Malan and Alex Hales catching the eye in those matches.
However, it was not such smooth sailing with the bat for the Rockets against London Spirit last time out – despite an unbeaten knock of 69 from D’Arcy Short – as they only posted 123/4 off their 100 balls.
That put the pressure on Trent’s bowling attack and they duly delivered, with spinners Rashid Khan, Matthew Carter and Samit Patel sharing all eight wickets, as they claimed a seven-run victory.
The Phoenix can only dream of such form, as they have lost back-to-back matches, going down by four wickets to Southern Brave in their most recent fixture despite posting a competitive score of 151/3 which was supplemented by an unbeaten knock of 68 from Liam Livingstone.
Captain Moeen Ali will be hoping to rally his troops for Sunday’s contest at Edgbaston, which is fast turning into a must-win game for the Phoenix, as their only victory to date came in their opening fixture against London Spirit.
The Spirit contest the second of Sunday’s matches in the men’s competition when they entertain Southern Brave at Lord’s (Match winner – Spirit 10/11, Brave 5/6).
It has not been a good start to the tournament for either team, as the Spirit currently prop up the standings and are the only side without a win following two defeats and a no result from their opening three fixtures.
The Brave have not performed much better, winning just once in three matches, although that victory did come in their last fixture against the Phoenix and they will be hoping that can help kick-start their campaign.
James Vince top-scored for the Brave in that one with a knock of 60 and he will be hoping to produce more of the same on Sunday, with defeat for either side likely to leave their hopes of a top-three finish in tatters.