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The Hundred - Cricket: Oval Invincibles v Northern Superchargers preview

The Oval plays host to a double-header of Hundred action on Thursday as both the men's and women's Oval Invincibles take on the Northern Superchargers.

While the men's tournament started just over a week ago, the women's match is the first of their competition, with many of the players involved having been in action at the Commonwealth Games.

And the Invincibles are the defending champions in the women's tournament, with the Oval outfit 4/1 to successfully retain their title.

Invincibles men enjoy mixed start

What:Oval Invincibles Men v Northern Superchargers Men, The Hundred
Where:The Oval, London
When:15:00, Thursday 11th August 2022
How to watch:Sky Sports Cricket, Sky Sports Main Event
Odds:Oval Invincibles Men 8/11, Northern Superchargers Men 11/10

The Oval Invincibles have won one and lost one in the men's tournament, seeing off the struggling Welsh Fire by 39 runs after being edged out by three runs in their opener against the London Spirit.

Their top order failed to fire against the neighbouring Spirit, while their efforts were not that much more convincing against the Fire, with 81 from Will Jacks being the notable exception.

Jacks has been marked out as one of the potential stars of the tournament and his 45-ball innings at Sophia Gardens showed what he is capable of, as he blasted seven fours and three sixes, however, he will be absent as he is playing for England Lions against South Africa.

The Invincibles' efforts with the ball have also been somewhat inconsistent, as they conceded 171-6 against the Spirit, but the shining light has been West Indian off-spinner Sunil Narine - who has taken five wickets across the two games while conceding 46 runs from 40 balls bowled.

Tom Curran impressed in taking 2-14 from his 20 balls in the solid victory over the Fire and he is 9/2 to be top team bowler on Thursday afternoon.

Superchargers starting to rev up

The Superchargers started their campaign with success over the Manchester Originals, but a seven-wicket reverse at home to the Trent Rockets brought them crashing back to earth.

Big hitting from skipper David Willey and Harry Brook got the job done against the Originals, but they were both absent on Tuesday as the visitors edged home with six balls remaining at Headingley and the latter will again by missing due to England Lions duty.

Doubts persist about the make-up of the Superchargers batting line-up, which functioned well as Adam Lyth made 51 in their opener, but struggled to do so after the opener fell to the first ball of the match against the Rockets.

With the ball, England new boy Matt Potts has struggled to make much of an impact, leaving a lot of responsibility on the shoulders of leg-spinner Adil Rashid.

The England white-ball specialist has bowled tidily without gaining too much reward in the first two games and the Superchargers will need more from him if they are to challenge for a play-off spot.

Rashid is priced at 11/4 to be top team bowler at the Oval, a venue which has not been too kind to him during his international career.

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Invincibles women still the team to beat

What:Oval Invincibles Women v Northern Superchargers Women, The Hundred
Where:The Oval, London
When:18:30, Thursday 11th August 2022
How to watch:BBC2, BBC iPlayer, Sky Sports Cricket, Sky Sports Main Event
Odds:Oval Invincibles Women 8/11, Northern Superchargers Women 11/10

Having claimed the inaugural women's Hundred title last summer, there seems no reason to believe that the Oval outfit will not be challenging hard again this time around.

They have retained their highly influential South African trio of Dane van Niekerk, Marizanne Kapp and Shabnim Ismail, while the addition of New Zealand batter Suzie Bates gives their line-up an even stronger look.

Van Niekerk and Kapp missed the Commonwealth Games but are expected to be back in the fold with the Invincibles, whose one area of doubt comes with the absence of Tash Farrant due to a serious back injury.

She took a tournament-best 18 wickets last season and leaves a major gap which will have to be plugged by both her replacement Kirstie White and the rest of the Invincbles attack.

Rodrigues the driving force for Superchargers

India batter Jemimah Rodrigues was one of the stars of the competition last summer as she racked up 249 runs, just 10 fewer than Van Niekerk, who topped the overall runscoring charts.

The richly gifted 21-year-old made her runs at a superb strike-rate of 150.90 in 2021 and Rodrigues is 13/5 to be top team batter at the Oval.

Rodrigues will no doubt enjoy having Australia ace Alyssa Healy as a new team-mate with the Superchargers, with the latter bringing experience of nearly 250 international appearances and a glut of success to the table.

Healy struggled for runs at the Commonwealth Games, but there can be no doubting her quality, with the right-hander having blasted 170 off 138 balls as Australia beat England in the World Cup final earlier this year.

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