The Welsh Fires will begin their latest Hundred campaign on Wednesday as they host the Manchester Originals at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff.
WELSH FIRE VS MANCHESTER ORIGINALS HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD
The two teams have faced each other on two occasions so far, and both those matches were won by the Manchester Originals.
WELSH FIRE VS MANCHESTER ORIGINALS LIVE-STREAMING AND BROADCAST
This match can be live-streamed on the Sony Liv App or the FanCode App. Fans can also watch this match on the Sony Ten Sports Network.
The Welsh Fire had a disappointing outing last season as they failed to win a single match out of the 8 they played. As a result, the team finished at the bottom of the points table.
They have made a few changes to the squad and will hope to perform better.
The team will be led by Tom Abell and has quite a few quality batsmen in their line-up. In addition to Abell, Cricthala are likely to see Glenn Phillips and Steven Eskinazi at the top of the order. Johnny Bairstow will be a key player lower down the order and will bat alongside all-rounders Roelof van der Merwe and David Willey.
Welsh Fire has strengthened its pace attack by bringing in Pakistan speedsters Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf, who will join Jake Ball and George Scrimshaw.
However, the team is lacking when it comes to spinners as Van der Merwe is the only quality option available. Also, some of the players aren’t likely to join until later in the season.
The Manchester Originals put up an excellent effort last season. After finishing second on the points table, the team managed to make its way to the Finals but were unlucky to be beaten there by the Trent Rockets in a thrilling encounter.
Led by the indomitable Jos Buttler, the Manchester Originals have a well-balanced squad on their hand. There are plenty of dependable batsmen including the skipper Buttler, Phil Salt, Wayne Madsen, and Laurie Evans.
Salt had an excellent outing last season where he scored 353 runs. All-rounders Ashton Turner and Usama Mir will add depth to the batting.
The bowling unit has received a bit of a setback before the start of the season as Wanindu Hasaranga and Fred Klaassen have pulled out due to injuries but the team does have a couple of replacements in the form of Ben Raine and Zaman Khan.
The pace attack is quite strong thanks to bowlers like Josh Little, Josh Tongue, and Jamie Overton, while Tom Hartley will lead the spin attack.
WEF VS MAO TOSS PREDICTION
The team winning the toss will likely opt to bowl first.
PITCH AND CONDITIONS
The pitch at the Sophia Gardens is generally good to bat on. The average first-inning score on this ground is around 145. There is some movement early on for the bowlers but the surface does settle down as the game progresses.
There is a forecast for rain on match day which can lead to some delays.
WEF VS MAO BETTING TIPS
Looking at the past encounters between both teams, the Manchester Originals enjoy a clear advantage. They have a stronger squad compared to their opponents and are up for any challenge thrown at them.
Bet on the Manchester Originals to win.