In the end, England beat the West Indies quite comfortably, by 124 runs at Bristol, and how about that performance from Moeen Ali: what a knock!!
England looked too strong for them at the weekend, and for me, they’re too good looking ahead to the rest of the series, in all honesty.
It’s the strength-in-depth which England have in the batting, with the likes of Ali, who can come in at 7 and hit 102 off 53 balls – that tells me they’re going to go on and win the series comprehensively.
To be fair, West Indies had England for a little while at Bristol, but then we powered through with the bat, Root hitting 84, Stokes getting a nice 73 and as I mentioned, Ali putting in a fantastic performance, which absolutely killed off the opposition.
England seem to have all bases covered at the moment – they bat so long and deep that even with Morgan not getting any runs on the board, it didn’t seem to matter! We always seem to have someone that can come to the rescue and even if we can’t get a belting score on the board, it seems to be a number that they can bowl to.
As expected, it was another good knock by Chris Gayle at the weekend, but even that wasn’t enough to get West Indies anywhere near the England boys. I know I predicted a 3-2 England win for the series, but I just can’t see West Indies getting anything in the next two matches. They don’t have the bowling line up to deal with the highly concentrated quality that’s so prominent in England’s batting.
The betting would suggest the same, with England priced at 1/5 and the visitors seemingly have it all to do, at 10/3.
Looking towards the fourth match in the series which is being played at The Oval then, and Chris Gayle is the highest scoring batsman at the ground for the West Indies since the turn of the Century with 152, so as usual, I’d expect another good performance from him here.
He seems like their only glimmer of hope; however, he’s got to stop getting run out – START RUNNING CHRIS!!! I’m afraid it isn’t 20/20 – you can’t just stand there and whack it!!!
I was expecting Evin Lewis to put in a good performance at the start of this series, but he hasn’t really lived up to my expectations. Shai Hope was another lad I was looking forward to watching but he’s been a little underwhelming, saying that he could be the one guy who keeps their batting line up together, a bit like Root does for England.
Shai Hope is 7/2 to be West Indies top run scorer but I just can’t see past Gayle again, at 11/4.
In my opinion, England are just too good, it’s as simple as that. They’ve got the bowling covered with Ali and Rashid in the side, as well as Plunkett who got a lovely little five-for on Sunday. Woakes is coming back to form and bowling well and as for their batting, it’s just sensational.
The only weakness I can see in England’s side at the moment is Morgan, who unfortunately has been woefully out of form, but he is England’s second highest run scorer at The Oval in ODI’s, so even he might fancy his chances in the fourth match.
It’s been reported that Ben Stokes and Alex Hales will miss the final two matches of the series due to an incident which occurred after the third match in Bristol. It’s obviously a blow for the England side and we’ll have to wait and see whether it jeopardises their opportunity to feature in The Ashes squad, but even without these two, against the West Indies, the hosts are more than capable of getting the job done.
The only trouble is, as we have seen recently, West Indies do have a knack of surprising us, but this time around, I just don’t see it happening.
In my opinion, there are still two or three places up for grabs for the winter tour down under and another good performance from one of the fringe players might just get them on the plane.
All the best,
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