Birmingham Phoenix vs Trent Rockets

The ultimate guide for The Men’s Hundred Match No.15, Birmingham Phoenix vs Trent Rockets, at Edgbaston, Birmingham.

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Birmingham PhoenixTeam Notes

Batting Options: 7 (Main – 6; Support – 1)

Opening Pair: RHB-RHB

Opportunity Alert: To avoid the LHB-SLA clash in the middle overs, Samit Patel could be pushed up and asked to bowl 10 balls at the opening pair or until one of them is out, at which point Moeen Ali will come in to chase SLA away again.

Will Smeed, despite being an above-average batter vs spin by England batting standards, does not have a good record against SLAO in his T20 career. Benjamin, on the other hand, has an excellent SR and has never been dismissed in 46 balls.

  • Will Smeed vs SLAO in T20s: R – 142, Balls – 114, Outs – 5, Avg/SR – 28/125 (Code Red)
  • Chris Benjamin vs SLAO in T20s: R – 87, Balls – 46, Outs – 0, SR – 189

Trent Rockets’ other threat to Smeed will be left-arm pace, as two of their three pace bowlers are left-armers (read: Luke Wood and Daniel Sams). Smeed also has a poor record against this bowling style.

  • Will Smeed vs L-Pace in Overs 1-6 in T20s:  R – 151, Balls – 136, Outs – 9, Avg/SR – 17/111 (Code Red)

Middle Order: 3 LHB options between No.3 and No.6

Threat Alert: Samit Patel could be underbowled or rendered ineffective.

Opportunity Alert: Lewis Gregory could bowl more. Gregory is the Rockets’ only support bowling option now that Joe Root is no longer in the XI. And it will be in clashes like this that he will be required to bowl more than he has so far.

  • Lewis Gregory – Average balls bowled per match in The 100 2022: 10

Lower Middle Order: Miles Hammond and Benny Howell at Nos. 6 and 7 are too light, and with only Tom Helm to follow, the Phoenix batting order lacks depth. So, if Trent Rockets can get past Phoenix’s top five, they’ll have an easy time dismantling the bottom half.

Opportunity Alert: Cheap wickets for Luke Wood and Luke Fletcher

Bowling Options: 7 (Main – 7, Support – 0) 

Phoenix have seven genuine bowling options, which means that, as seen in the previous game with Moeen Ali and Imran Tahir, a couple of main bowlers will almost always be underbowled.

In this game, however, Moeen Ali is likely to bowl at least 15 balls because the opposition has two big name left-handers in its top 4. 

In Form: Benny Howell, Kane Richardson 

Out of Form: None

Big Names on the bench: None 

Potential Changes: None


Trent RocketsTeam Notes

Batting Options: 8 (Main – 8, Support – 0)

Opening Pair: RHB-LHB and in top form 

Despite Hales at one end, Phoenix will almost certainly throw a set or two of Moeen Ali up front, especially if they catch Dawid Malan on strike.

  • Dawid Malan vs off-spin in T20s since 2017: R – 337, B – 312, Outs – 13, Avg – 26, SR – 108 (Code Red) 

Middle Order: Tom Kohler-Cadmore-Colin Munro positional switch the key 

With Joe Root gone, the Trent Rockets appear to be deciding their No. 3 batter based on who gets out first: right-hander Alex Hales or left-hander Dawid Malan. Hales has gotten out first in the last couple of games, so Tom Kohler-Cadmore has moved up the order.

With Kohler-Cadmore also keeping wickets, he should be in your fantasy XIs. Colin Munro now has a differential status, with only 22% ownership. Normally, at this point, we say, “Pick him at any cost”. But there is a problem today: Phoenix can potentially bowl 40 balls of offspin with Moeen Ali and Liam Livingstone in their XI.

  • Colin Munro vs off-spin since 2017: R – 625, B – 506, Outs – 21, Avg/SR – 30/123 (Code Red) 

He survives well for a left-hander, but he doesn’t score quickly, and in a format like The 100, if you can’t score fast, the pressure can mount rapidly.

Lower Middle Order: The Rockets’ lower middle order lacks a superstar, but they do have enough useful batting options in Lewis Gregory, Samit Patel, and Daniel Sams.

Bowling Options: 6 (Main – 5, Support – 1)

Lewis Gregory Factor: Linked to the middle order section in the Birmingham Phoenix section. 

In form: Alex Hales, Dawid Malan, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Samit Patel

Out of form: Ian Cockbain 

Big Names on the bench: Marchant de Lange

Predicted Changes: None, unless they want to exploit Birmingham Phoenix’s LHB-heavy middle order by replacing Luke Fletcher with Matt Carter’s offspin. However, all it takes for it to become a risky strategy is for one of the big-hitting right-handers – Will Smeed, Chris Benjamin, and Liam Livingstone – to be at the crease, which is why it wouldn’t be surprising if they continue to keep Carter out.


Edgbaston, Birmingham – Venue Notes

  • Average First Innings Score in The 100 Men 2021: 161 (highest)
  • Average First Innings Score in The Blast (last 3 years): 163 (6th)
  • Small boundaries (Only one of the eight major boundaries is at 75+m)
  • Top 2 bowling types that work at the venue: Rapid pace and SLAO 
  • Moeen Ali is the 3rd highest scorer at the venue since 2017 (Chris Benjamin and Will Smeed are in the top 10 run scorers list as well)
  • Henry Brookes is the 2nd highest wicket-taker at the venue since 2017 (Moeen Ali also enjoys bowling at Edgbaston)

Alex Hales has a dreadful track record at the venue, averaging 22 runs per wicket in 11 innings since 2017. However, as we have previously stated (and proven to be correct), we would not recommend putting all of your eggs in one basket based on a small sample size unless there is a cricketing logic that explains the stat. Hales is in good form and is one of the most successful batters in the world; there is no reason for him to struggle so much in such good batting conditions. Perhaps he has been countered by his two weaknesses – SLAO and BoL at a rapid pace, which, as we previously discussed, work well at the venue.

Phoenix does not have SLAO, but they do have Henry Brookes to try to hit the deck hard and fast against Hales (and Helm is decent at it on his day as well). One counter may not be enough, and in general, these are the kinds of records that turn when a player is in form, and Hales is in form.

For more stats and insights on the venue, click here. 


Match Centre – Rating and Comparison

Team RatingBirmingham PhoenixTrent Rockets
Batting Quality0.70.7
Batting Depth0.30.5
Complementary Openers0.61
Spin Hitting0.80.8
Pace Hitting0.50.5
New Ball Swing & Seam0.30.4
BoL and high-end pace0.60.2
Death Bowling0.40.5
Bowling Depth10.5
Complementary Spin0.90.8
TOTAL6.1/105.9/10

Birmingham Phoenix vs Trent Rockets – Indibet Cricket Predictions 

  • Total Runs in the match Over 310.5
  • Total Sixes in the match Over 13.5

Birmingham Phoenix vs Trent Rockets – Fantasy Corner

Top BP picks: Moeen Ali, Liam Livingstone, Henry Brookes, Benny Howell

Top TR picks: Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Daniel Sams, Alex Hales, Dawid Malan

Top filler bowlers: Tabraiz Shamsi, Luke Wood, Tom Helm

Top C/VC options: Moeen Ali, Liam Livingstone 

Top Differentials: Chris Benjamin (24%), Benny Howell (31%), Colin Munro (22%), Lewis Gregory (7%)

Top C/VC differentials: Chris Benjamin, Tom Kohler-Cadmore

Note: The whats, whys, and hows are explained in the article’s team sections. Please check them if you want to know why Tom Kohler-Cadmore is a differential captaincy option or why Lewis Gregory is in the differential section, for example.


Birmingham Phoenix vs Trent Rockets – Predicted Playing XI

Birmingham Phoenix: Will Smeed, Chris Benjamin, Moeen Ali(c), Liam Livingstone, Matthew Wade*, Miles Hammond, Benny Howell, Tom Helm, Henry Brookes, Kane Richardson*, Imran Tahir*

Trent Rockets: Alex Hales, Dawid Malan, Colin Munro*, Tom Kohler-Cadmore(wk), Ian Cockbain, Lewis Gregory(c), Samit Patel, Daniel Sams*, Luke Fletcher, Luke Wood, Tabraiz Shamsi*

Stats credit: Raviteja Rajavarapu, Cricsheet, Cricmetric

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