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The Hundred - Cricket: London Spirit Men v Manchester Originals preview

London Spirit won only one match in the inaugural edition of The Hundred but the Lord's-based franchise have already matched that performance in 2022 opener.

The Spirit picked up a three-run victory against Oval Invincibles on Tuesday and they will be hoping to keep that momentum going against the Manchester Originals, who were London's sole victim in 2021, on Monday night.

The side from Old Trafford were beaten by regional rivals Northern Superchargers in their opening match of this season on Friday night and a quick response will be demanded by coach Simon Katich.

What

London Spirit Men v Manchester Originals Men, The Hundred

Where

Lord's, London

When

18:30, Monday 8th August 2022

How to watch

Sky Sports Cricket and Mix

Odds

London Spirit 1/1, Manchester Originals 4/5

Batting powerhouses to the fore

The Hundred is all about entertainment and the Lord's crowd could be treated to some spectacular batting on Monday night.

London Spirit posted the highest total of the opening round of matches (171/6) but Manchester Originals were not too far behind, hitting 161/4 in their opener against the Northern Superchargers.   

Leading the charge was former England white-ball captain Eoin Morgan, who struck 47 from 29 balls in the Spirit's London derby success over the Oval Invincibles, and his successor as England's one-day chief, Jos Buttler, who hit 59 from 41 for the Originals and is 11/5 to be his team's top batter.

But the pyrotechnics will not only be provided by the captains with both sides boasting stacked batting units containing some bona fide stars of franchise cricket.

Big-hitting Australian Glenn Maxwell didn't quite live up to his 'Big Show' nickname at The Oval but there were hints of his quality in his 16-ball 18, while an expectant Old Trafford crowd were not disappointed on Friday as the Originals' marquee all-rounder Andre Russell treated the Manchester faithful to a couple of huge sixes and a fantastic catch.

Stubbs looks a shrewd acquisition

Manchester were dealt a blow when overseas recruit Wanindu Hasaranga was blocked from competing in this year's tournament by the Sri Lanka Cricket Board.

The Originals have moved quickly to find a replacement, however, and in South African Tristan Stubbs they have snapped up an emerging star of world cricket.

Already on the roster of IPL franchise Mumbai Indians, Stubbs first announced himself to the wider cricketing public in this country with some standout moments in the recent T20 series between the Proteas and England.

Stubbs smashed 72 from just 28 balls in a losing cause in the first match of the series in Bristol and then produced a stunning one-handed catch in the final contest of the three-game series.

Originals captain Buttler saw first hand in those matches how destructive the young South African can be and he will no doubt be anxious to let Stubbs, who is 10/1 to be top team batter, go in up the order and face as many balls as possible.

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Spin could be key

Spin bowling has been an ace trick in T20 cricket for some time now and there's no reason to think that will be any different in The Hundred.

London Spirit went in with two spinners - Mason Crane and Liam Dawson - in their opening contest, while slow left-armer Tom Hartley opened the bowling for Manchester Originals who also had England leg-spinner Matt Parkinson to call on later.

Originals skipper Buttler has shown with England he isn't afraid to turn to his spinners when the pressure is on and the same was also true of Morgan when he revived the fortunes of English white-ball cricket.

Prediction

There wasn't much between the Spirit and Originals in the inaugural season of The Hundred, and on the evidence of the opening round of 2022 there may be little to separate them again.

Manchester were the only side to lose to the Spirit in 2021 so the London-based franchise should be given credit for the way they held their nerve to seal their win over Oval Invincibles on Thursday.

They could have easily folded when having looked home and hosed with 10 balls to spare, the Invincibles scored 20 runs off the first five balls to tee up an unlikely shot at victory.

The Originals won't be too disheartened by their defeat at home to the Northern Superchargers but they will need to be a bit more streetwise with the ball.

That said, Manchester's batting unit does look to be their strength and the potential introduction of emerging South Africa star Stubbs could give them a narrow edge at Lord's.

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