Cricket

Windies on hunt

Windies hunt series-levelling win against England

Friday, February 22, 2019

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West Indies will be desperate to level the five-match One-Day International series against England when both teams meet today for the second time in three days at Kensington Oval in Barbados.

England made a mockery of West Indies' record-breaking 360-8 to make history of their own en route to 364-4 with eight balls to spare at the same venue on Wednesday.

Bowlers were put to the sword as Christopher Gayle, who survived a dropped chance, recovered from a slow start to smash 12 sixes in his 135. Ben Stokes showed control in taking 3-37 from eight overs, while fellow pacer Chris Woakes (2-59) provided effective support.

Every other bowler went for seven runs per over or more.

The English batting, led by Jason Roy (123) and Joe Root (102), was ruthlessly efficient in overhauling what initially appeared a winning total. Like England, the West Indies bowling paid the price for an underwhelming display. The hosts fielding and catching were also found wanting, making it easier for the batsmen to dominate.

Skipper Jason Holder was the West Indies best bowler, taking 2-63.

More runs could also be on the cards for this encounter, with the adjacent strip at Kensington looking much like the surface used on Wednesday.

Given how things played out in that encounter, do not be surprised if the team which wins the toss opts to bat second, giving themselves a chance to pace their run-chase rather than setting a total.

England may rest Chris Woakes as a precaution, as he manages a long-standing knee problem, with David Willey and Tom Curran in contention to come in. There is no need to tinker with the batting.

The second ODI will see a fresh pitch used, next to the one which yielded 724 runs on Wednesday. With the weather set fair, it could be another day of heartbreak and toil for the bowlers.

West Indies: (probable) 1 Chris Gayle, 2 John Campbell, 3 Shai Hope (wk), 4 Darren Bravo, 5 Shimron Hetmyer, 6 Nicholas Pooran, 7 Jason Holder (capt), 8 Carlos Brathwaite/Sheldon Cottrell, 9 Ashley Nurse, 10 Devendra Bishoo, 11 Oshane Thomas.

England: (probable) 1 Jason Roy, 2 Jonny Bairstow, 3 Joe Root, 4 Eoin Morgan (capt), 5 Ben Stokes, 6 Jos Buttler (wk), 7 Moeen Ali, 8 David Willey, 9 Liam Plunkett, 10 Adil Rashid, 11 Mark Wood.


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