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England Eye Series Win Against Resurgent Windies

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: March 1, 2019, 11:06 PM IST
England Eye Series Win Against Resurgent Windies

Source: AFP

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England go into the final game of the five-match ODI series against the Windies at St. Lucia on Saturday looking to seal the series while the home side know they need a win to ensure the series ends level.

Joe Root’s men currently have a 2-1 lead and a win in the final ODI will not only avenge their loss in the Test series but also provide some much-needed momentum as the 2019 ICC World Cup comes closer.

The previous game was a high-scoring encounter with West Indies needing 419 to win and falling just 29 runs short thanks, in no small part, to a top-order onslaught led by Chris Gayle.

Gayle’s 97-ball 162 almost had England staring at another potential series loss and the visitors will need to be wary of his presence atop the order.

However, there also remains every chance that destructive all-rounder Andre Russell – who was picked for the last two ODIs but didn’t feature in the last game – could get picked, giving the English think-tank another headache to deal with.

Their middle-order has also been among the runs and the likes of Darren Bravo and Carlos Brathwaite looking in good touch right now.

However, the main focus remains the self-proclaimed ‘Universe Boss’.

"We needed wickets all the time, because we felt that if Gayle batted long enough they'd win the game, which is incredible when you've got 420 on the board," Jos Buttler had said after the fourth ODI.

Buttler’s 150 was one of the main reasons why England were able to eke out a win in the previous match but he was also quick to praise Adil Rashid.

Rashid’s five-wicket haul ensured that the home side could not find that final flourish towards the end of the innings and thus ended up losing the match.

"Being able to spin the ball both ways, he (Rashid) is tough to get after. We juggled the bowlers well, and for Adil to bowl an over like that at that time was special," Buttler said of the leg-spinner.

The bowling will be Windies’ main concern going into the match as they conceded runs at an astronomical rate in the previous game.

Whether they are able to contain a batting line-up as destructive and well-rounded as England’s will determine if they can end the series on a high.

Squads

Windies: Jason Holder (c), Fabian Allen, Devendra Bishoo, Darren Bravo, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, John Campbell, Ashley Nurse, Carlos Brathwaite, Nicholas Pooran, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas, Andre Russell

England: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood
First Published: March 1, 2019, 10:42 PM IST
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