England to win
Our prediction is England to win this match!
England and the West Indies move on to Grenada for the third One-Day International with the five-match series locked at one apiece after the hosts rallied to win the second game in Barbados by 26 runs. That ended a sequence of 10 straight England wins in this fixture, although they still lead the head to head 50-43. It was the West Indies’ biggest win in some time having failed to win a bilateral series in 2018, and it keeps them well and truly in the series – one England must not lose if they want to retain their number one ranking.
In Grenada, the West Indies have won nine out of 15 completed matches including the last five games they have played here. However, they have not come here since 2014 and the only time England visited, the game was abandoned in April 2004. With the series delicately poised, there is plenty riding on this match with the winners handing themselves a key advantage before the final two games.
The West Indies’ bowling attack failed to back up an excellent batting display in the first ODI, but they put that right in the second game. Chris Gayle was again in good form with a half-century before Shimron Hetmyer’s 104 not out in 83 balls – the quickest ODI century by a West Indian against England – steered them up to a score of 289 for six. This time, it was the England bowlers who struggled to keep control with no one man taking more than one wicket.
The introduction of Sheldon Cottrell at the expense of Nicolas Pooran worked a treat as he took five wickets, troubling England with his left-arm angle of attack. He took five for 46 and Jason Holder grabbed three wickets and once the West Indies got quick wickets, they never allowed England to recover and held their nerve even when Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes almost got the visitors back into it. They are unlikely to change a winning team and should go in to this game unchanged.
Chris Gayle, John Campbell, Shai Hope (wk), Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder (c), Carlos Brathwaite, Ashley Nurse, Devendra Bishoo, Oshane Thomas, Sheldon Cottrell.
After chasing down 360 and making it look easy in the opening match, England will be disappointed with their follow-up effort. But for Hetmyer’s innings they would have been able to restrict the West Indies to far less but like Gayle in the first game, they could not keep him quiet. That always left them with a tall order with the bat and losing early wickets hampered their run chase.
Only four batsmen scored more than 30 runs and they will feel that one more contribution from one more player would have been enough. They brought in Tom Curran to replace Chris Woakes, but he failed to take a wicket and registered a golden duck. They would have expected more following his Big Bash exploits but will likely give him another chance in Grenada. It might also be time to bring Alex Hales in at the top of the order in place of Jonny Bairstow and give him a hit.
Jason Roy, Alex Hales, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (c), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wk), Moeen Ali, Tom Curran, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett, Mark Wood.
The Grenada pitch is usually a good one to bat on but can also take spin. With this being the first game played here for a while, expect a good surface. The weather forecast shows some rain around in the next couple of days but it should not be serious enough to interrupt the game. It is warm and humid.
The National Cricket Stadium in Grenada was rebuilt in 2004 in order to host matches at the 2007 World Cup. It then became a Test venue but has only hosted 20 completed ODIs and none since August 2014. In those games, the side batting second has won 13 times to the side batting first’s seven and the average score batting first is 235.
England won the toss both times in Barbados and chose to field first, while a number of the West Indies’ wins at this venue have come while chasing. Both teams are happy to allow their opponents first use of the pitch and that should not be expected to change as they move to a new venue where they may be unsure of exactly how many runs constitutes a winning score.
The two ODIs in the series so far have started off in a similar pattern before deviating wildly. In both matches, the West Indies were put in and relied on a century from a star man to post a competitive score. However, whereas in the first game England came out firing and put the bowlers under pressure, last time out it was the other way around – the West Indies took early wickets and put them under pressure. The big question is whether they can do so again? This is a West Indian team that has not been particularly consistent against an England team that is not used to being turned over. It is more likely that England will bounce back strongly than the West Indies will back up one strong performance with another and therefore we feel the visitors will take this one.
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