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Liam Livingstone’s Birmingham Phoenix could have too much for Trent Rockets
Free cricket tips, best bets and analysis for Trent Rockets v Birmingham Phoenix in The Hundred on Saturday.
Where to watch
BBC Two, Sky Sports Main Event & Sky Sports Cricket, 2.30pm
Birmingham Phoenix 1pt 10-11 Coral, Ladbrokes
An explosive Birmingham Phoenix side fell at the final hurdle in The Hundred last year and the Midlands outfit could again go well in 2022, starting with victory over regional rivals Trent Rockets in Nottingham.
Phoenix were the regular season table-toppers in the men’s Hundred in 2021, winning six of their eight matches.
They then came unstuck in the final against Southern Brave but look strong once again this year.
Birmingham have a top captain in all-rounder Moeen Ali and a six-machine in Liam Livingstone, who was named MVP in the inaugural season of The Hundred last year, having struck 348 runs in nine innings.
They have also acted quickly to replace absentees Olly Stone and Tom Abell with Timm van der Gugten and Brett D’Oliveira drafted in ready for the opening match with the Rockets.
Trent Rockets also made the knockout stage last season, being dumped out in the eliminator by Southern Brave.
But they lost home and away to rivals Birmingham in the regular season and heading into this game there are doubts surrounding the availability of key bowler Rashid Khan, who will be on international duty with Afghanistan early next week.
Birmingham are simply a more consistent side with bigger hitters and are worth snapping up at a shade of odds-on to start the season with a win at Trent Bridge.