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The Hundred - Cricket: Trent Rockets v Welsh Fire preview

Top meets bottom in the men's Hundred on Monday as the high-flying Trent Rockets welcome the struggling Welsh Fire to Trent Bridge in Nottingham.

The Rockets have won five of their opening seven matches and are on course for the knockout phase, whereas Fire are merely playing for pride after failing to win any of their seven games.

In the women's competition, meanwhile, only two points separate the Rockets and Fire, making for a more open contest during the afternoon in Nottingham.

Rockets could be far too strong for dwindling Fire

WhatTrent Rockets vs. Welsh Fire, Men's Hundred
WhereTrent Bridge, Nottingham
When19:00, Monday 29th August
How to watchSky Sports Cricket, Mix and Main Event
OddsTrent Rockets 4/11, Welsh Fire 11/5

Trent Rockets have been irrepressible in The Hundred this year, but they suffered a setback last time out, losing to Southern Brave at The Rose Bowl.

That was only their second defeat in seven matches this year in the franchise competition, though, and at one stage they looked on course for victory.

The Rockets struggled a little for fluency at the crease, but still posted 138-6 with in-form batter Dawid Malan contributing 59 to the total.

And Brave looked set for defeat when they needed 66 runs off their final 30 balls, only for a stand of 71 between Alex Davies and Ross Whiteley to fire them to victory.

It would be no surprise if that result were to rock the Rockets, given that could have been the night they sealed a knockout berth, but they should bounce back confidently against the Fire.

This is a complete mismatch with the Rockets having won all three of their home games in The Hundred this year and the Fire winless in the tournament, having scored only 114 in their latest defeat to Northern Superchargers.

Ben Duckett has made 195 runs for Fire this season, but beyond the England left-hander they have been desperately short of runs, with Leus Du Plooy their next highest runscorer on 88.

The absence of Jonny Bairstow continues to hurt the Fire, who are rightfully seen as major outsiders to win this game.

An upset is highly unlikely given the disparity between these sides at the crease, but Duckett should continue his decent rate of scoring and could be worth a bet at 15/4 to be his side's top runscorer.

As for the Rockets, Malan has been one of the stories of the season, racking up 300 runs in seven innings, meaning he is averaging 42.86 in the tournament.

He is worth backing at 5/6 to surpass his runs line of 25.5 against the Fire.

Carey and Sciver in line for key roles

WhatTrent Rockets vs. Welsh Fire, Women's Hundred
Where

Trent Bridge, Nottingham

When15:30, Monday 29th August
How to watchSky Sports Cricket, Mix and Main Event
OddsTrent Rockets Women 4/9, Welsh Fire Women 7/4 

The gulf in class between Trent Rockets Women and Welsh Fire Women is not quite as big as in the men's tournament, but the Rockets are still much fancied to win this clash.

That is fair enough given that the Fire are out of the running for the knockout stage in The Hundred Women this year, but they did at least get their first win on the board last time out against Northern Superchargers at Sophia Gardens.

One of the stars of the show in that contest was Nicola Carey, who helped to stabilise her team's innings with a knock of 19 off 13 balls before shining with the ball in taking 3-18, dismissing top batter Laura Wolvaardt in the process.

It is a case of too little too late for the Fire, but one way of supporting them in this game could be to back Carey at 14/1 to be named Match Hero, given her strength with both bat and ball.

If the Fire are to pull off a surprise win, she will surely be integral, but the Rockets have been fairly steady and still have their sights set on a top-three berth.

Key for them have been the performances of Nat Sciver at the crease.

In four innings Sciver has made a total of 151 runs and with much riding on this game for the Rockets, she could be worth a bet at 11/4 to be her side's top runscorer at Trent Bridge.

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