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The Hundred: Oval Invincibles v Birmingham Phoenix preview

There are huge matches coming up in both Hundred competitions on Tuesday as the Oval Invincibles entertain the Birmingham Phoenix at the Oval.

In the men's tournament, both sides are locked on six points but can ill-afford a defeat at this stage with games running out, while it's fourth against top in the women's event with only two points separating the two sides.

One more slip could be fatal


Oval Invincibles Men v Birmingham Phoenix Men, The Hundred


The Oval, London


18:30 Tuesday 23rd August

How to watch

Sky Sports Cricket, Main Event and Mix

OddsInvincibles 4/6, Phoenix 6/5

The respective men's sides of these two franchises share identical records with three wins and two losses, with a three-match winning streak book-ended by an opening loss and a defeat last time out.

With Trent Rockets blazing a trail at the top of the table on 10 points, there is perhaps just one play-off place up for grabs with London Spirit currently holding second place on eight points, two clear of these two sides.

Given the form the Rockets have shown so far, the Phoenix may just feel they have the capabilities of beating anyone on their day, having been the only side to have defeated the Trent outfit this season by recording a terrific seven-wicket win at Edgbaston a week ago.

Phoenix of course have to play the Rockets twice and that success avenged an opening six-wicket defeat at Trent Bridge, although they were unable to follow it up as they suffered a 32-run loss to Northern Superchargers on Friday.

The Invincibles lost out to the Rockets most recently, going down by 25 runs on Saturday at Trent Bridge, although they are back on familiar territory against the Phoenix having won two of three so far at the Oval.

Both the Superchargers and Southern Brave have been beaten at the Oval, with the hosts having suffered a narrow three-run loss in their tournament opener against this year's surprise package, London Spirit.

Birmingham's home form was perfect last year, winning four out of four at Edgbaston on their way to topping the group, but having lost to the Superchargers on their own patch, they will be keen to pick up a win on the road to maintain their top-three hopes.

So far, the Phoenix have won one lost one on the road, although the victory came against the still winless Welsh Fire.

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Narine looks to be the key

There is little doubt that the Phoenix are not quite what they were in the inaugural season with Liam Livingstone unable to replicate his destructive campaign of 2021, while the support hasn't always stepped up.

The England all-rounder has scored 128 runs at an average of 32.00 but he lies in 12th place in the run-scoring charts, having dominated by some distance last season. He still leads the Phoenix but it's worth noting that Birmingham's second leading run-scorer, Will Smeed, scored 101 of his 124 total runs in one innings.

Will Jacks is the other Hundred centurion involved on Tuesday but he has scored an aggregate of 201 runs at an average of 67.00 to lie sixth in the run-scoring charts, while Jordan Cox (148 runs in three innings) and Sam Curran (132 in five) are also above Birmingham's leading man overall.

However, given the potential of the Phoenix's line-up, the biggest factor in the Invincibles armoury could well be with ball in hand.

Sunil Narine stands out as the biggest bowling weapon from either side with the West Indian not only tied for the leading wicket-taker position with nine victims, but he has bowled his 20 overs at an economy rate of just 5.00. Only Glenn Maxwell, who has only bowled five overs, has a better rate at just 3.20.

Phoenix looking to test title credentials


Oval Invincibles Women v Birmingham Phoenix Women, The Hundred


The Oval, London


15:00 Tuesday 23rd August

How to watch

Sky Sports Cricket, Main Event and Mix; BBC iPlayer and red button

OddsInvincibles 4/5, Phoenix 1/1

Birmingham Phoenix have made an excellent start to the season, having won three from three to share top spot in the standings with Southern Brave on six points.

Oval Invincibles have made a solid enough start themselves, having won two of their first three games to lie in fourth place, just two behind the leaders, and this match looks set to have a huge bearing on the final placings in the group stages.

These two sides finished second and third in the standings last year to both make the play-offs, with the Invincibles defeating the higher-finishing Phoenix in the semi-finals before overcoming the table-topping Southern Brave to be crowned champions.

The Brave exacted some kind of revenge to inflict the only defeat so far on the Invincibles, edging a tight contest by 12 runs last Sunday, with the Oval outfit having thumped Northern Superchargers by nine wickets in their other home game, before securing a five-wicket win at Trent Rockets last time out.

The Phoenix beat Welsh Fire (19 runs) on the road in their opener, before seeing off the Rockets (eight wickets) and Superchargers (five runs) at Edgbaston, and will be full of confidence for their trip to the champions.

On the face of it though, the two sides look evenly matched with Ellyse Perry and Amy Jones leading the visiting run scoring stats with 119 and 94 respectively, while Lauren Winfield-Hill (104) and Suzie Bates (102) top the Invincibles’ charts.

The Phoenix will hope to turn things in their favour with the ball in hand with Georgia Elwiss having taken five wickets so far, while Sophie Molineux has bagged four, at an impressive economy rate of 4.0, third best in the tournament.

Again though, the Invincibles are not too far behind with Eva Gray having an economy rate of 4.5, while Ryana MacDonald-Gay and Sophia Smale have snared four wickets apiece.

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