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The Hundred: Birmingham Phoenix v Trent Rockets preview

Trent Rockets have won their first three games in The Hundred but they face a testing fixture against Birmingham Phoenix at Edgbaston on Monday.

The Rockets nailed a brilliant run-chase against Manchester Originals on Saturday, having been set a victory target of 190, while the Phoenix bowlers clinched a tense four-run win over Welsh Fire on the same day.

WhatBirmingham Phoenix v Trent Rockets, The Hundred
WhereEdgbaston, Birmingham
When18:30, Monday 15th August 2022
How to watchSky Sports Cricket & Sky Sports Mix
OddsBirmingham Phoenix 10/11, Trent Rockets 10/11

In-form rivals set for tight contest at Edgbaston

Birmingham Phoenix and Trent Rockets were two of the strongest teams in last summer's inaugural men's Hundred and, three games into their 2022 campaigns, both appear to be serious title contenders again.

The Phoenix finished top of the league table in 2021, winning six of their eight games before losing in the final to Southern Brave, who had beaten the Rockets in the playoff eliminator.

These teams met in their opening game of this season at Trent Bridge, where a solid bowling performance, backed up by Alex Hales's 58, set up a six-wicket win for the Rockets.

Their display with the ball was particularly impressive given that star Afghan leg-spinner Rashid Khan was hit for five sixes from his 20 balls, four of them by Liam Livingstone and one by Moeen Ali.

England Twenty20 international all-rounders Livingstone and Moeen provide a world-class core to the Phoenix line-up and a tight contest is expected on Monday.

Resurgent Rockets man Malan could star with bat

Birmingham Phoenix sealed a low-scoring win over Welsh Fire in Cardiff on Saturday when seamers Kane Richardson and Tom Helm helped them defend a modest target of 131.

More batting fireworks should be on the cards at Edgbaston, where the Phoenix are 4/6 to hit more sixes than Trent Rockets, and Birmingham's first home game of 2022 produced the first century in Hundred history, scored by opener Will Smeed.

The talented 20-year-old cracked an unbeaten 101 off 50 balls against a classy Southern Brave bowling attack and he is currently 7/2 to be the Phoenix's top batter on Monday.

Moeen and Livingstone are also major threats to the Rockets and Matthew Wade, a T20 World Cup winner with Australia last year who top-scored with 38 against the Fire last time out, is 11/2.

Rockets left-hander Dawid Malan narrowly missed out on emulating Smeed's century on Saturday as he finished on 98 not out in the successful chase against the Originals, hitting nine of the 44 balls he faced for six.

That followed an unbeaten 88 against Northern Superchargers in his previous innings and Malan, who was top of the ICC's T20 batting rankings for more than a year after a blistering start to his England career, is 9/1 to be named Match Hero for the third game in a row.

WhatBirmingham Phoenix Women v Trent Rockets Women, The Hundred
WhereEdgbaston, Birmingham
When15:00, Monday 15th August 2022
How to watchSky Sports Cricket & Sky Sports Mix
OddsBirmingham Phoenix Women 4/5, Trent Rockets Women 1/1

Overseas stars could play decisive roles

Birmingham Phoenix Women and Trent Rockets Women both made winning starts to their Hundred campaigns thanks to some fine performances from big-name overseas signings.

The Rockets appeared to be in trouble after scoring just 119-5 against Manchester Originals at Old Trafford but Alana King's 4-15, including a hat-trick, helped them skittle their hosts for 76.

Since making her international debut for Australia in January, leg-spinner King has won the Ashes, the World Cup and, this month, a Commonwealth Games gold medal, so she was brimming with confidence even before her stunning Hundred debut.

Batting at number seven, King also hit the Rockets' only two sixes in an unbeaten 19 off nine balls and she is 7/1 to be the Match Hero on Monday.

Opponents Birmingham have some big hitters in their ranks, however, and New Zealand opener Sophie Devine got them off to a strong start against Welsh Fire, cracking 48 from 25 deliveries in Cardiff.

Devine, who also captains the Phoenix, is 21/10 to be Birmingham's top batter in their first home game of 2022, but her innings on Saturday was eclipsed by Ellyse Perry's 31-ball 58, which featured 10 fours.

The legendary Australia all-rounder is 13/2 to be the Match Hero against the Rockets although a back injury meant she played as a specialist batter in April's World Cup final win over England and she did not bowl in the Hundred opener against Welsh Fire either.

Perry's Australia teammate Sophie Molineux and exciting England prospect Issy Wong took the new ball in Cardiff, conceding just one boundary from their combined 35 deliveries, so Birmingham could be worth a bet at 4/5 to make the highest first 25 balls score.

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