Southern Brave and Trent Rockets face off in the first eliminator match in this year’s inaugural Hundred.

Both sides will battle it out for the opportunity to take on Birmingham Phoenix in Saturday’s final and there couldn’t be more at stake – the honour, prestige, and bragging rights of claiming the first Hundred title are all up for grabs.

Southern Brave and Trent Rockets eyeing up final spot

Southern Brave finished best of the rest behind Birmingham Phoenix, who waltzed their way into the final by topping the competition leaderboard by simply winning more games than anyone else and not having to rely on net run rate. Both the Brave and Trent Rockets both secured five victories in the tournament and finished on 11 and 12 points respectively. They were able to see off late flourishes from the Oval Invincibles and both will be hopeful of reaping their rewards in the Eliminator, before one side can go on to tackle the Phoenix, who are priced at 10/11 to take home the first Hundred trophy.

The Brave actually secured their position in the eliminator by beating the Invincibles in a thrilling must-win game at the Ageas Bowl. Chasing a tricky target of 135, the hosts found themselves at 68-4, but along came ‘the big man’ Colin de Grandhomme, who lived up to his reputation when the New Zealand overseas player hit 40 to secure the victory and take the Brave to the eliminator. The Kiwi had so far failed to fire in the tournament, having not taken a wicket or gone past single figures with the bat, so his introduction was more than timely and Brave fans will be hoping he can continue where he left off. If he can there is no reason that the Brave can’t go on and secure their ticket to the Lord’s final and beat the Phoenix, where they can be backed at 13/5 to do so.

The Rockets were slightly more convincing in their pursuit of the eliminator when thrashing the Manchester Originals by seven wickets. It was the part of their overseas player as well which had the greatest impact as Rashid Khan, the Afghanistan leg-spinner who arrived in the tournament late, was on hand to take three wickets in six balls which began an almighty collapse for the Originals.

Going at a steady 70-1 they soon fell at the Rockets mercy, finishing on 135-8 from their 100 balls. In reply, it was the man of the moment Dawid Malan, having just recently been called back into the England Test fold, who took the initiative and scored a comfortable 52 from 46 to take his team into the eliminator. He will still be available for the eliminator and final should the Rockets get there and he will be instrumental in their efforts. Should they progress to Saturday’s final, they are priced at 13/5 to get the better of Moeen Ali’s Birmingham Phoenix side.

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