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The Hundred - Cricket: Eliminator preview

The Hundred is nearing trophy time with Manchester Originals and London Spirit meeting in the eliminator on Friday for the right to play Trent Rockets in Saturday's men's final.

There will be a new name on the trophy this year, with the Rockets 10/11 after topping the league to go straight through to the final at Lord's.

The question is, who they will play, with the Originals full of confidence after booking their place in the eliminator off the penultimate ball of the regular campaign.

The Spirit, meanwhile, have been transformed this summer after finishing the inaugural 2021 season bottom of the league with just a single win to their name.

The men's match at the Rose Bowl is preceded by the women's eliminator between Southern Brave and Trent Rockets.

Originals timing is to perfection

What:

Manchester Originals v London Spirit, The Hundred Men's Eliminator

Where:

Rose Bowl, Southampton

When:

18:30, Friday 2nd September 2022

How to watch:

Sky Sports Cricket, Sky Sports Main Event & Sky Sports Mix

Odds:Manchester Originals 4/5, London Spirit 1/1

Manchester Originals will surely feel untouchable after their magical ride to the knockout stage.

Everything had been going against the Old Trafford franchise, who were bottom of the table after losing their first three matches and who had seen star player after star player - Sean Abbott, Andre Russell and Jos Buttler - disappear for different reasons.

Undeterred, they hit back with four straight wins and on Wednesday night faced a win-or-bust shootout with Oval Invincibles for a place in the playoffs - which they won with one ball to spare.

And as big names have exited stage left, so other heroes have emerged, none more so than pace dangerman Josh Little, whose competition-best figures of 5-13 was the bedrock of Wednesday's win. If there is pace and bounce at the Rose Bowl, he'll exploit it and he is 11/4 to be top team bowler.

With the bat Wayne Madsen's 53 not out proved invaluable, though yet again there was a fast start from Phil Salt with a quickfire 19.

Salt is the Originals' top scorer in the competition with 313 runs including three 50s, which makes him hard to overlook at 13/5 as a top batter bet for his side.

Spirit satisfied after 2021 shocker

That London Spirit have made the eliminator after finishing bottom 12 months ago, showing the strides the franchise have made.

They could actually have gone straight to the final had they beaten Birmingham Phoenix convincingly on Tuesday. However, had they lost badly at Lord's they wouldn't have made the playoffs at all, so defeat by one wicket off the final ball of the match was a bitter-sweet affair.

Yes, they were through, but it was a disappointing end to the league schedule.

Skipper Eoin Morgan could do with stepping up to the plate on Friday after a string of failures - the former England captain has managed 46 runs in his last six innings - but he makes precious little appeal in top runscorer betting at 9/2 given his current form.

Indeed, London's team batting is going backwards it seems. After a flying start to the campaign they haven't cleared 140 batting first in their last three matches and that frailty in the top order is a definite concern.

Their bowling attack, however, is strong, spearheaded by Yorkshire paceman Jordan Thompson, the competition's joint-top wicket-taker with 14, having taken at least two wickets in five of his eight starts.

Home comforts should suit Brave

What:

Southern Brave vs Trent Rockets, The Hundred Women's Eliminator

Where:

Rose Bowl, Southampton

When:

15:00, Friday 2nd September 2022

How to watch:

BBC2, Sky Sports Cricket, Sky Sports Main Event & Sky Sports Mix

Odds:Southern Brave Women 4/9, Trent Rockets Women 7/4 

Southern Brave must be pinching themselves. The best team of the women's Hundred after winning their first five matches - most of them emphatically - they had one foot in the final going into the last few days of regular-season action.

Then, inexplicably, they lost their last match, well beaten by the Northern Superchargers and Oval Invincibles won theirs, and the next thing you know it's the South London franchise with their feet up as they prepare for Saturday's Lord's showdown.

The Brave, meanwhile, need to gather themselves again to take on Trent Rockets in the eliminator.

The Rose Bowl ladies do have plenty in their favour, though, as the match odds appear to confirm.

They finished four points clear of the Rockets in the regular season and won all of the three games they played at the Rose Bowl, including one of them by ten wickets - and that was against the Trent Bridge franchise.

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