Our prediction is England to win!
The One-Day International series between these two got off to a barnstorming start earlier in the week as England chased down 361 to win the opener by four wickets with eight balls remaining. Now, the two sides are back at Barbados’ Kensington Oval ready to lock horns again. The West Indies are looking to bounce back to get into the series while England will have their eye on establishing a 2-0 lead. Anything other than a series win here will see them lose their number one ranking so there is plenty at stake.
The first game saw a record number of sixes hit in an innings, a ground record score by the West Indies and then England’s highest successful run chase. Chris Gayle marked his return to the side with a brilliant hundred, only to be outdone by Jason Roy and Joe Root, who also passed three figures in the run chase. England’s win now makes it 10 victories over the West Indies in a row in completed ODIs and extends their head-to-head record to 50-42.
With the bat on Wednesday, the West Indies did not do a lot wrong. John Campbell and Nicolas Pooran came into the side to make their debuts and the former looked assured but the latter failed to score. Both can expect another chance. Gayle was magnificent and excellent innings from Shai Hope, Darren Bravo and Ashley Nurse contributed to the biggest total batting first the ground has ever seen in an ODI.
However, they let themselves down in the field as their bowlers failed to bowl with the control required against a confident England batting line-up. There were too many dropped catches and a poor performance in the field relieved the pressure on England. Only Jason Holder and Ashley Nurse went at less than seven runs an over. Therefore, the home side could look to make changes with Sheldon Cottrell a contender to replace the expensive Oshane Thomas. With Kemar Roach ruled out through injury and Shannon Gabriel suspended, they are short of options.
Chris Gayle, John Campbell, Shai Hope (wk), Shimron Hetmyer, Nicolas Pooran, Darren Bravo, Jason Holder, Carlos Brathwaite, Ashley Nurse, Devendra Bishoo, Sheldon Cottrell.
England will be very satisfied with their work in the first ODI but as ever, will feel there is some room for improvement. Roy dropped an early chance to remove Gayle but made amends with his fine century while Moeen Ali was expensive with the ball, bearing much of the brunt of Gayle’s attack.
However, on the other hand, Ben Stokes was outstanding in conceding just 4.62 runs an over and Adil Rashid’s haul of 3-74 was a decent return considering how late he was brought into the attack. Expect captain Eoin Morgan to turn to him sooner in this match, particularly if the West Indies are going well. England will at some point give other squad members a chance, but could well go into this game unchanged as they look to keep the West Indies under pressure.
Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (c), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wk), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett, Mark Wood.
There was not a lot in the pitch for the bowlers but now it has seen one match, it may be a little worn and therefore more even for this game. There may be the odd shower around but nothing serious enough to limit too much play. It was noticeable how both teams targeted one side of the ground as a fierce wind blew through, leading to a higher score than usual – if the wind is up again, the runs may flow once more.
The Kensington Oval has now played host to 35 completed One-Day Internationals with the side batting second winning 19 times to the 16 times the side batting first has won. The West Indies’ score of 360-8 was a ground record batting first, well above the ground average of 239.
The West Indies won the toss and batted first in the opening game, perhaps feeling they would make better use of the best of the conditions. They would likely do the same again. England would probably want to bat first at some point during this series so Morgan might also prefer to set a target this time.
The battle between Gayle and the English bowlers was always going to be fascinating and once he got over his slow start, he was in brilliant form. England will be keen to find out how well the West Indies do if they get rid of him early. Both sides need the players who didn’t perform so well in the opener to step up, but it is now a long time since the West Indies beat England in an ODI. Even 360 on the board wasn’t enough to stop them getting home and this wasn’t the most polished performance in the field either. Even if England play at the same level as they did earlier in the week they should go 2-0 up – if they improve, then it’s not good news for the home side!
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