The Hundred Blog – In the thick of it!

The games have come thick and fast monopolising late afternoon and early evening viewing for Cricket fans and new recruits all thanks to it being available on BBC & not just Sky. The shiny new package of The Hundred is drawing in big crowds creating an amazing carnival atmosphere & what I hope are some memorable first experiences for young boys and girls across the country sharing these rare special moments. Already half-way through the tournament only London Spirt in the Men’s and the Manchester originals in the Women’s tournament are without that winning feeling. Something that London Spirit will be desperate to rectify tonight.

Here Come the Girls!!!

The women continue to impress and show exactly why they deserved to open the tournament and, more importantly all the plaudits that men enjoy. The skill level and excitement has matched the men ball for ball! The ladies’ table is almost a mirror image of the men’s with World Cup final hero Anya Shrubsole leading the team to 4 from 4 and top of the table and top of NRR. Cross’ Originals however seem to be struggling despite having the class of Sophie Ecclestone, world No1 T20 bowler in the world and Du Preez ex-South African captain & one of the most experienced ladies in the tournament.

Leading the way with the bat the Jemimah Rodrigues has 166 in 3 games from just 94 balls, better than any of the men! Hayley Matthews hot on her heels with 155 but with a game in hand Rodrigues will surely be adding to the stack. The Trent Rockets dominate the batting stats holding 5 places in the top 20 with the Southern Brave in a close 2nd with 4 players in the top 20.

Sammy-Jo Johnson tops the bowling stats with 9 wickets in all but is surrounded by Amanda-Jade Wellington and Tash Farrant both on 8 and in the hunt for top spot with Shrubsole and Davidsons-Richards only a 3fer away themselves. The top 20 bowling spots are shared around however the Brave hold 2 in the top 5 showing they are a strong all round team unit with the Supercharges only a rain result behind.

Boys will be boys!

The Brave having lost their first 2 games have found winning ways beating the Phoenix with Vince, one of England cricket’s most stylish and underrated batters, enjoying his home stage before eking out a narrow victory against the winless London Spirit. The Trent Rockets hold on to top spot despite suffering their first defeat against the Phoenix despite fifty from Malan as Allen and Smeed took only 36 balls to eliminate 79 runs.

De Lange marches on as leading wicket taker with 8, keeping leaving Carter & Milne, Parkinson & Khan to eat his dust, behind by 3. The Trent Rockets hold 3 of the top 5 wicket takers with 4 out of the top 20.

The competition for top batting spot is in strong contention with Harry Brook relinquishing his early lead to D’arcy Short, who is fighting hard to grow his narrow 6 lead over Bairstow & preventing him from achieving top spot in 4 out of the 5 stats charts in his amazing run. Spots in the top 20 runs scorers are shared around with 3 a piece for Rockets, Fire with the Brave leading with 4 in the top 20.

As it stands

In the Men’s Rockets lead narrowly by 1 point. The Originals ,2nd, have snuck ahead of the Invincibles, 3rd, on run rate with the competition hotting up as the Brave build their momentum leaving London Spirit scrambling for their first win.

The Brave Ladies are running away with it, unbeaten after 4 with only the Superchargers for company as the Invincibles hold 3rd on run rate alone making the fight to make the cut is on between the Invincibles, Fire & Rockets.

Thought for the week

The Hundred is changing the game and how players and spectators engage with the game. The tactics of the game have brought a new element to captaincy especially with the over rate rule providing instant penalties to teams. Bowling 10 in a row to keep pressure on a batter is quickly becoming a way to avoid having to bring the extra man in the ring for the final over. This played a prominent factor in Sothern Brave’s first win over the Phoenix, allowing Chris Jordan to hit areas usually covered by that extra man. Could this prompt a rule change across formats? Could we see Test Match teams only allowed 10 fielders on the pitch until the run rate is recovered? Will the franchise mentality take hold of English Cricket in all formats and change the way we do things in the future?

Until next time…