Southern Brave James Vince (capt), Alex Davies (wk), Marcus Stoinis, Tim David, Ross Whiteley, James Fuller, Chris Jordan, Craig Overton, Jake Lintott, Rehan Ahmed, Michael Hogan.
Welsh fire Joe Clarke, Tom Banton (wk), Ben Duckett, Sam Hain, Ollie Pope, Josh Cobb (capt), Ryan Higgins, Adam Zampa, Jake Ball, David Payne, Noor Ahmed.
The 17-year-old Leicestershire leg-spinner will make his Hundred debut for the Southern Brave, as will the more experienced Marcus Stoinis.
Southern Brave has won the toss
And has put the Welsh Fire in to strike. Chasing was the path to victory in last year’s competition, and Brave is sticking to precedent.
Sky begins its coverage
With presenter Kass Naidoo and her ‘dream team’ of Ebony Rainford-Brent, Nasser Hussain, Ravi Shastri, who did some Stranger Things 4 stuff with a clock and its pendulum, Stuart Broad and Kevin Pietersen.
Michael Vaughan on his love for The Hundred
The second season of The Hundred starts tonight, and it’s going to be big for the likes of Jason Roy. This is an opportunity for him to go and show everyone how good he is. He’s had a string of poor performances for England but he’s an outstanding player and I’d be surprised if he doesn’t find form. Likewise, Liam Livingstone has not shot, and Jos Buttler needs a score or two.
Anyone with a good hundred could be selected for the seven-match T20 tour of Pakistan and then, potentially, the T20 World Cup in October and November. Certainly if Phil Salt starts smashing it to bits and gets a couple of hundreds, I think England would consider changing their white-ball team.
I am led to believe that most of the Hundred games are sold out. You’re hoping for good weather, drama and a few last ball finishes to create some social media presence. It will take a while to match all the close matches and victories from lost positions during this year’s T20 Blast. Personally, I am looking forward to the competition. It always creates debate. People don’t seem to accept that the format has arrived and will be here for a long time.
Just enjoy it: it’s bat and ball over 22 yards.
And welcome to coverage of the opening match of the second season of the Hundred, a men’s match between last year’s maiden champions Southern Brave, based at the Ageas Bowl, and the Tan Cymreig/Welsh Fire from Cardiff. For all the tickets sold in 2021, the liveliness of the play and the coverage, the road to the Lord’s final was not the road to Damascus for its many critics. Virtually none of the animosity that the hundred provoked among those clothed in the flag of tradition when the England and Wales Cricket Board’s first foray into franchise competition was announced was distilled from that first season, but some opinions have changed. This writer started out as a skeptic, went to three fights on his own dime and took family members who had never been to a fight before, and came back impressed with the occasion if not a zealot for the format.
But then it’s not the format that counts particularly for me, but the competitiveness of the game, the excellence of the game and a desire for cricket to convert an audience that has been denied free TV access to the game for 17 myopic years to its charms. We must find a way to address cricket’s absence from the shared, national experience and the desert that state school sport has become for the game, and in that pursuit I make a point, as Sir Arnold Bax recommended, of trying every experience once, except incest and folk dance.
Having said that the format doesn’t count, it’s so unusual at least superficially that I should go over the basics:
Each side has 100 balls to face and deliver with each innings taking no more than 65 minutes.
Ten balls will be bowled from each end and the umpire will signal after the first set of five to allow the captain to decide whether the bowler should hold on and bowl the full 10 or switch to another bowler. Each bowler gets a maximum of 20 deliveries in the match.
If a batter is struck out, the new batter will face the next ball regardless of whether their predecessor had crossed with the non-striker.
The powerplay lasts 25 balls, during which time only two fielders are allowed to be placed outside the 30-yard circle, and each bowling side is given a two-minute time-out during which the coach is allowed to go onto the field to discuss tactics with their players.
Contrary to pre-tournament rumours, the lbw has not been abolished nor will it be penalized with free hits.
If a team is unable to bowl their last five balls of the inning within 65 minutes, a fielder will be allowed out of the restricted area.
No drink breaks are allowed.
Each team gets a maximum of one failed DRS review per lap
In the two teams for the opening game, look out for champion Braves’ big hitters from last year, James Vince, Quinton de Kock and Alex Davies plus their formidable bowling line-up including Jake Lintott’s hen’s teeth English left arm wrist spin and stalwarts George Garton and Chris Jordan.
After all, the Welsh Fire do not have captain Jonny Bairstow available as he has retired for a breather after 12 white-ball internationals and four Tests so far this summer, but they have their best batsman from last year, Ben Duckett, who was second after the phenomenal Liam Livingstone in plundering runs, and the great hitters Tom Banton, Joe Clarke and David Miller. Australia’s leggie Adam Zampa will join his mate Marcus Stoinis and Naseem Shah, who has a bowling action as close to Dennis Lillee’s as anyone I’ve seen in 40 years, to provide the pace like (Welsh) fire.