Two teams have started off with a loss, & one will win today. Manchester Originals suffered a shock loss to Trent Rockets as they failed to chase down a below-par target of 120 to capitulate for just 76! Whereas, Welsh Fire went to the other extreme as they were set a massive target of 162 which they failed to hunt down.
VENUE: Old Trafford, Manchester
The pitches at this venue could be slow, but not slow enough to halt the teams to score beyond 130 in the first innings. It's mostly the spinners game at this venue & it should continue as both the teams are full of spinners.
- Manchester took one of the weirdest calls ever by adding Amy Satterthwaite over Lea Tahuhu. This was not required! Satterthwaite not only struggled herself as she scored a scratchy 9 (15), but her knock ensured the RRR kept rising. She is a good player, but MO needs Tahuhu currently to strengthen their pace attack & also enable a pinch-hitter.
- The overseas players need to take responsibility. They can't be throwing their wickets away like Dottin did. While the shot from Dottin would have made sense in a team where there are aggressive batters to follow, it doesn't apply to MO who did not have anyone to follow after her barring Sophie Ecclestone. She also needed to pick the right bowler to target as Trent had two leg-spinners & she opted to go after Alana King!
- MO is another team with a classic top-heavy issue. Their XI was so wrongly formulated that it made it very straightforward in terms of what the opponent needs to do in order to win games against them. They have all their firepower in the top 3 of Emma Lamb, Lizelle Lee, & Deandra Dottin. The next 7/8 were all meant to struggle because of different reasons.
Their XI vs, Trent Rockets that was shot for 76:
5. Out of position
6. Out of position
9. Out of position
Such an XI makes it clear that if you get at least 2 out of the first 3 dismissed cheaply, then you will defend even a low target. This is why I had mentioned about Tahuhu being very important in the XI ahead of Satterthwaite until Dottin leaves for other commitments. It will not only bring Ami Campbell & Cordelia Griffith closer to their ideal positions but also add that much-needed firepower at the bottom who can also be used as a floater like Sophia Ecclestone.
- Help me understand how a team in today's day & age could have the confidence of not picking a single wrist-spinner in their squad for two years! It couldn't have been better for me to prove this point as it was the wrist-spin of Alana King & Sarah Glenn that shot them for 76 in their own backyard. Lessons learned?
Probable XI: 1) Lizelle Lee, 2) Emma Lamb, 3) Deandra Dottin, 4) Amy Satterthwaite, 5) Cordelia Griffith, 6) Ami Campbell, 7) Sophie Ecclestone, 8) Eleanor Threlkeld, 9) Kate Cross, 10) Grace Potts, 11) Hannah Jones
- Tammy Beaumont has the capability of thriving as a captain. She has some very good tactics up her sleeve & more games as a captain should see her thrive in the future.
- The usage of Annabel Sutherland needs to get better. She has always had an issue with being disciplined & Beaumont must have found that out now as her spell played a huge part in turning the screws as Phoenix managed to accelerate. Sutherland is a much better batter than bowler & her role as a bowler should be kept restricted or used smartly.
- Alex Hartley will be the player that Welsh will be backing. She is the player that the team would hope will win them the game. Reason - She is a local & would be playing against her former franchise & players that she plays with all the time.
- It was a day where all of their 3 overseas messed up. Hayley Matthews had a disaster with the ball, Rachael Haynes dropped Ellyse Perry & scored only 14, while Sutherland allowed a momentum shift with the ball. But, Matthews & Haynes are experienced & they are allowed to have bad days. They will prove to be the match-winners for Welsh Fire in the games to come.
Probable XI: 1) Hayley Matthews, 2) Tammy Beaumont, 3) Rachael Haynes, 4) Annabel Sutherland, 5) Fran Wilson, 6) Katie George, 7) *Fi Morris, 8) Sarah Bryce, 9) Lauren Filer, 10) Alex Hartley, 11) Claire Nicholas
*Possible Change: Hannah Baker for Fi Morris to add an RALB option
POSSIBLE TACTICS ON SHOW:
- Welsh Fire opened the bowling with Claire Nicholas and have her a set of 10 first-up as Eve Jones was in the middle. This was an extremely smart move by Beaumont. Today, you could see Alex Hartley sharing the new ball ahead of Nicholas.
- Hayley Matthews bowled only 10 balls in the last game, expect her to bowl her full quota today
- After the first game's debacle, expect Lizelle Lee & Deandra Dottin to adopt a measured approach initially
- Hannah Jones will share the new ball & could be vital in providing an early wicket of Hayley Matthews
- Tammy Beaumont struggles against in-swing/seam in. Kate Cross will be eyeing that match-up!
Manchester Originals should've learned a stern lesson after their shocking loss against Trent Rockets & would be looking to have a measured approach. The bowling attack will win games, & one has to back that on any day Manchester plays. In terms of outcome, I have still had issues with teams led by Kate Cross & the volatility her tactics bring, so you never know if Welsh spring a surprise.