England conclude their tour of the Caribbean on Thursday evening when they take on West Indies in the fifth and final match of what has been an entertaining and compelling T20 series, with the Brian Lara Stadium hosting a deciding match.
West Indies flew out into a 2-0 lead but England have ridden the excellent form of Phil Salt in the last two matches to come roaring back and set up this deciding game, which might have psychological importance down the line.
West Indies were very assured in the opening two matches of the series and actually made it look like they were a cut above this England side. They won by chasing a score and posting one and that is often the sign of a good team. Whether they got a little complacent or thought that the job was done what something else, they haven’t been as good in the last two matches when their bowling has been absolutely destroyed and their batting just hasn’t been able to keep up.
To be fair to West Indies, in the first game that they lost they posted well in excess of 200 and they probably would have done in the last outing too had the target they were chasing not been as large as it was. There is nothing wrong with the batting for West Indies but they need to find something with the ball. The first thing they need is multiple early wickets as if they allow England to go through the gears it could be carnage. Someone to hold their own at the death would be nice too.
You have to give England a whole lot of credit for getting back into the series. At 2-0 down and facing a run chase in excess of 220 it would have been easy for them to give up and tamely lose the series but they have found their batting mojo at the time that they needed it the most and now from nowhere they have got themselves into a deciding match where they are probably the favourites to press on and win the series from here.
I don’t think it would be accurate to say that their bowling has been pinpoint in the two winning matches but to be fair in what has been a series of shootouts the decisive moments have been those overs where things are kept relatively quiet and the England spinners have been able to do that. They have had one batter in insane form in both wins but they do need to answer the question of whether they can still go big should Phil Salt be dismissed early.
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You would imagine there has to be changes in the West Indies bowling attack for this match. Romario Shepherd and Oshane Thomas are a couple of options to come in and there is Roston Chase waiting for a chance too.
England might not feel the need to make any changes to a winning team but they changed things between game three and four and if they do want to switch things up again then this is the last chance for John Turner to make his debut.
The West Indies sixes line has gone up as you would imagine by the fact that they have hit double figures for sixes in every innings of the series so far. I don’t expect anything to change in that regard for this final match. If anything I wouldn’t be surprised if they double down here. We saw in the first game here in Trinidad that there is nothing wrong with how the wicket is playing and that the boundaries here are more than attainable.
This West Indies side keeps on coming in terms of big hitters and that allows them to swing freely regardless of the situation. There has been nothing to suggest that we will suddenly get a low scoring game so I am more than happy to play the West Indies sixes once again. The line has gone up to 10.5 but when you consider they reached double figures with half of the innings to go in the last game there is more than enough to suggest the line hasn’t gone up enough.
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