Windies offered a glimmer of hope


Having dominated the one-day international action to date, England appeared to be perfectly placed to wrap up a series victory over the West Indies at The Oval.

The hosts won the series opener by seven wickets, while the second ODI was rained out and England completed a 124-run thrashing in Bristol on Sunday.

All of which leaves the Windies in a must-win situation, with odds of 5/2 for them to win and keep the five-match series alive not looking overly generous if you consider what has gone before.

However, with England duo, all-rounder Ben Stokes and opening batsman Alex Hales, missing the action on Wednesday, the tourists do have a glimmer of hope.

What is certain is that Chris Gayle will have to go big again if they are to get the job done, with the veteran opener in superb form in Bristol in making 94, before being run out for the umpteenth time.

He is 11/4 to be top team batsman, while fellow veteran Marlon Samuels (9/2) will be desperate to do well after an unlucky dismissal in the last game.

England have seen their batting fire on almost all fronts, meaning that the likely recall of Jason Roy, on his home ground, should not disrupt their plans too much.

Roy, 7/2 to be top team batsman, will be desperate to impress after losing his place to Jonny Bairstow earlier this summer.

With the ball Liam Plunkett and Adil Rashid have been the standout performers for the hosts and the former at 7/2 to be top team bowler is worth considering, with the paceman likely to enjoy the faster surface on offer in South London.

In contrast, the Windies attack has been flayed to all parts, but in the carnage the part-time off-spin of Ashley Nurse has looked more than useful.

He is 9/2 to be top team bowler and will be helped by The Oval ground being much larger than the one at Bristol, where England racked up 369-9 on Sunday to ensure an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the five-match series.

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