What is it?
England v West Indies in a World Cup group game. The format being what it is, defeat won’t be terminal for either side but whoever wins will be in pole position for a top-four finish and a semi-final spot. You can check out the latest standings here.
When is it?
Friday June 14, starting at 10.30am British “Summer” Time. Weather permitting, of course.
Where is it?
The Ageas Bowl in Southampton. Or The Rose Bowl as you might remember it. Or The Hampshire Bowl as it the ICC inexplicably insist on calling it for this tournament. Anyway, more details on the Whatever It’s Called Bowl here.
Where can I watch it?
It’s on Sky Sports Main Event (ch 401) and Sky Sports Cricket (ch 404) in the UK.
What are the odds?
England are hefty favourites at 2/7 with Paddy Power to collect their third win of the tournament, while West Indies are 12/5 to get the two points and leapfrog the hosts in the table.
England v West Indies betting preview
This has become a pivotal match for both side and indeed the tournament itself. Victory for England would make all the current top four more secure, leaving a West Indies side that has looked the likeliest challengers to a semi-final line-up of England, India, New Zealand and India with just one win from four and suddenly massively struggling.
England are worthy favourites to get that win, of course, but it’s a brave man backing them at short prices against one of the few – perhaps only – sides capable of going toe to toe with Eoin Morgan’s sluggers in a flat-out hitting contest.
The weather forecast suggests overnight rain should clear in time for a full game tomorrow and, while it may leave some tricky batting conditions first thing the power in these two batting line-ups means the 7/2 available with Paddy Power for both sides to score 325 or more is certainly a tempter. It happened twice – both times comfortably – in the four completed matches these teams played in the Caribbean earlier this year, while England’s scores in the tournament so far are 311/8, 334/9 and 386/6. They have conceded 325 or more on four occasions this summer against a Pakistan batting line-up with a fraction of West Indies’ power.
We’ve seen less of West Indies with the bat thanks to their demolition job with the ball against Pakistan and a washout against South Africa, but they have great recent memories of batting against England having racked up scores of 360/8 and 389 in that drawn series back in February and March.
The match between England and Pakistan in Southampton before the World Cup saw England only just defend a total of 373/3 by 12 runs.
Given that we expect plenty of runs and given the way these two sides bat – especially the Windies – the total sixes market is also worth a look. The total sixes make-up in the four matches between these two earlier in the year (the third ODI of that series was a total washout, so great World Cup practice for all concerned) were 29, 18, 46(!) and 10 (in a game where only 228 runs were scored in total). It makes 5/1 for 22 or more sixes in this match look a touch generous. There were precisely 22 sixes in that high-scoring England v Pakistan game here before the World Cup.
Paddy’s Power Prices
Oshane Thomas (West Indies)
Wickets are the only way to slow this England side down. As the Bangladesh game showed, a slow but wicketless start is no impediment to this England side and the Tigers’ failure to strike early left them chasing leather for the rest of the day.
Thomas is a wicket-taker. He took nine wickets in the one-day series between these two earlier in the year, including 5/21 as England were blown away for 113 in the final series-levelling game.
The big man has taken six wickets in just 16.1 overs in the World Cup so far – a wicket every 16 balls – and could be the man to check England’s progress.
He’s 16/1 with Paddy Power to again be man of the match on Friday as he was in St Lucia back in March.
Jason Roy (England)
His 153 against Bangladesh was magnificent, and, with Jonny Bairstow not quite at his best in the tournament thus far it is Roy who has set the tone for England. For good and bad.
Has already made a century and a 50 in the tournament so far, leading England’s run-scoring chart and sitting second for the tournament overall. He top-scored in one of his two appearances against West Indies earlier this year and is 16/5 to do so again here.
World Cup head-to-head record: England 5 West Indies 1
Since losing to the Windies in the 1979 World Cup final, England have an astonishing record of five straight wins in World Cup clashes.
That includes a pair of success in the 1987 World Cup in India and Pakistan and a successful 300-run chase in the 2007 World Cup at a time when such a thing was rare enough for anyone, let alone England. It was also Brian Lara’s final West Indies game, and enabled England to finish an enormously flattering fifth in the final standings; technically, that makes 2007 England’s best – or least bad – World Cup since 1992.
The last World Cup meeting between England and West Indies was in Chennai eight years ago when Andrew Strauss’ side successfully defended a trademark 243 all out despite a 21-ball 43 from, you guessed it, Chris Gayle.
The 38-year-old finished with exemplary figures of three for 24 on a surface offering precious little encouragement.
Shubman Gill impressed with his technique against short-pitch bowling, and his father has said he honed those skills during practice.
The home side reached 155 for three at tea, with England’s record wicket-taker responsible for all three dismissals.
Jos Buttler will return home after the first Test as England seek to keep players fresh, while Ollie Pope will return when fit.
The ICC World Test Championship final is set to be held at Lord’s in June, completing a two-year cycle of the inaugural tournament.
South Africa named a much-changed squad for the T20I series that follows the two Tests in Pakistan.