An entertaining T20 series comes to a close in Barbados on Sunday when West Indies meet England for a fifth and final time and it will conclude with a deciding match to determine who leaves with the series spoils.
This series has ebbed and flowed with West Indies twice taking the lead before England equalised on both occasions. Their latest leveller came on Saturday which has set up this Sunday showdown where the series will be won and lost.
West Indies will be disappointed not to wrap up the series at the first time of asking on Saturday, but they always knew they would have this second chance to get the job done and now the pressure is on them to do so having controlled the way for the most part. They didn’t do a huge amount wrong in the previous game other than to go the distance at the death. Their bowlers aren’t the only ones who have done that in this series though so we shouldn’t be too critical of that.
One concern for West Indies would be that in the main in this series their top five have only delivered one really decent partnership in four matches. You sense if they are going to come out on top here that might need to change but we saw in that second game that they have power all the way down their line up, even in defeat. Kieron Pollard might want to use his bowlers a little better in this match as well which would help.
Given that they have been behind twice in this series I’m sure England will be delighted to be playing a deciding match. They won’t have wanted to concede two matches but there were mitigating circumstances to both of them so we shouldn’t be too critical. The first one was the first competitive game they had in this part of the world and the third game was chaotic when Eoin Morgan when down just prior to the toss and all plans went out of the window. In the two matches they have been settled for they have won comfortably.
England have batted well in the last three matches. That doesn’t surprise anyone, it is their strength in this format after all. The positive thing for them is even with some batters missing that strength has not weakened. England’s issues have been with the ball but there were signs in the fourth match on Saturday that they are warming to the task in that regard and if they continue to get it right with the ball they will be very hard to beat here.
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Roston Chase and Hayden Walsh Jr still haven’t had an outing in this series and this is the last chance for them to get it. If they are to come in then you would imagine the likes of Darren Bravo and Dominic Drakes are most vulnerable.
England have no need to change a winning side but they might be a little cautious over Tymal Mills playing twice in two nights so Saqib Mahmood could come in for him. If they did want to change the batting then Harry Brook is waiting for another chance.
The last three matches in this series have followed a similar pattern which is basically that with wickets in hand teams can score big runs in the second 10 overs and I don’t see that trend changing for this final match. The pitches at the Kensington Oval have been fantastic so far and while we are getting to the stage where they are going to start to tire, the boundaries here are so accessible that the playing surface hardly makes much difference.
England didn’t really start their innings too well on Saturday but still ended up making 193 even though they didn’t bring their 100 up until the 13th over. West Indies only made 159 in reply but they knew two overs out they weren’t getting home and seemed to just bat the deliveries out so there is more to come from them with the bat. The runs line for this match has nudged up to 321.5 but I’m still not convinced that is high enough with the firepower and depth these two sides possess with the bat.
WON – Back Over 321.5 runs for a 3/10 stake at 1.83 with Bet365