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The Hundred - Cricket: London Spirit v Welsh Fire preview

Lord's will be the venue for the matches from The Hundred on Wednesday, with London Spirit taking on Welsh Fire in both the men's and women's competition.

In the men's tournament, the Spirit will fancy their chances of bouncing back from a first defeat of the season against a hapless Fire outfit, while the women's match will see two sides seeking their first wins of 2022 go head-to-head.

Spirit to cope in Maxwell's absence


London Spirit Men v Welsh Fire


Lord's, London


15:00 and 18:30, Wednesday 24th August 2022

How to watch

BBC2, Sky Sports Main Event & Sky Sports Cricket


London Spirit Men 4/9, Welsh Fire Men 7/4; London Spirit Women 8/13, Welsh Fire Women 13/10

The Spirit finished bottom of the men's standings during the inaugural edition of The Hundred last year, but under the guide of captain Eoin Morgan and coach Trevor Bayliss they have enjoyed a major turnaround in 2022.

Morgan's men won their opening four matches of this year's competition, although they did suffer their first defeat to Trent Rockets last time out, going down by six wickets against the only side that currently sit above them in the standings.

London were without Glenn Maxwell for that match and they will remain without the Australian overseas all-rounder after he linked up with his country for their ODI series against Zimbabwe.

Ben McDermott helped fill some of the void left by Maxwell, as he top scored for London against the Rockets, with the Spirit continuing their trend of sharing the runs around, as none of the squad currently sit in the top 15 when it comes for the leading run scorers in this year's competition.

Captain Morgan is currently 16th in those standings, contributing 117 from his five innings to date, with the former England white-ball skipper priced at 5/1 to be London's leading run scorer on Wednesday. McDermott for his part is 11/4.

What London may lack in run scoring they more than make up for with ball in hand, as no player has taken more wickets in this year's competition than seamer Jordan Thompson's total of nine - he is 13/5 to be the Spirit's top bowler against the Fire.

Fire's season going up in smoke

One of the main reasons why London will fancy their chances of returning to winning ways is they will be facing a Welsh Fire side that have lost all five of their matches in this year's competition.

Perhaps the most comprehensive of those defeats came last time out against Southern Brave, as the Fire were beaten by nine wickets on home soil at Sophia Gardens.

Run scoring has been a problem for the Fire, as they are yet to record a half-century in this year's competition, with Tom Banton's knock of 44 against Birmingham Phoenix the best they have produced to date.

Were the Fire to win this match then it would have to go down as the biggest shock in this year's competition, a view that is reflected in the odds, with the visitors priced at 7/4 to win, while London are 4/9.

Something has to give at Lord's

There are only two teams yet to win a match in the women's Hundred this year and they will meet at Lord's on Wednesday, with London Spirit and Welsh Fire having lost all three of their fixtures to date.

This is familiar territory for the Fire, who also propped up the standings in 2021, but for the Spirit it is a major disappointment after they only just missed out on the knockout stages last year due to having an inferior net run rate to Birmingham Phoenix.

Charlie Dean's team have struggled to cope in the absence of injured England captain Heather Knight, who is missing the tournament due to a hip issue, with London having lost their opening three games to Southern Brave, Northern Superchargers and Trent Rockets.

However, this will be their first match of the year on home soil at Lord's and that should stand the Spirit in good stead at odds of 8/13, especially as their woes appear more temporary than those of the Fire.

Wednesday's visitors have already lost to Birmingham, Manchester Originals and Southern Brave, while they will head into this fixture without the now departed Hayley Matthews.

New Zealand international Maddy Green has been drafted in to replace all-rounder Matthews, who is returning to play domestic cricket in the Caribbean.

All this suggests the Fire will be struggling to win this match at 13/10, with London likely to be the team celebrating their first victory of the campaign.

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