Tuesday, 28 March, 2017

Heavy rain delays start of England's first ODI against West Indies

Cornwall swings his bat during his innings of 59 against England in Monday's tour match Cornwall swings his bat during his innings of 59 against England in Monday's tour match
Ron Matthews | 05 March, 2017, 00:28

Both teams are coming off series losses, the West Indies failing to advance to the final of a three-nation tournament in Zimbabwe while England losing 2-1 to India. For the home side, should they learn from the mistakes they made on Friday, victory over Morgan's men remains very much on the cards.

But that is not to say England can expect to have everything their own way over the next week or so.

"The main aim is to qualify for the next World Cup, the 50-over World Cup, so these one-day games are extremely important to us", he said.

England start a new campaign in the Caribbean after taking a hammering in India across all the formats.

England have doubts at the top of the order, where Alex Hales is with the squad but still recovering from injury, while Sam Billings failed to make a strong case in the warm-up games. In the second game too there will be interesting clashes to look forward to.

And the bowling remains a serious issue. No David Willey or Jake Ball on this tour opens the way opens the way for Liam Plunkett, Steven Finn and Tom Curran to push their case.

England eventually posted a score of 296-6 but Morgan admits that the conditions did not help them during the victory.

Arsene Wenger dodges question about Alexis Sanchez's reaction to being dropped
I bought him, I always played him and he has developed well. "This decision was not easy to make, but I have to stand up for it". That's, for me, a much more rational explanation than the rest. "I don't deny Alexis Sanchez is a great player.

An intriguing sub-plot will be the battle between Brathwaite and Stokes after the West Indian hammered the England right-armer for four consecutive sixes to steal the World T20 final in Kolkata previous year.

"What pleased me the most in today's game was that we produced everything we spoke about before the game".

Yet despite only needing 96 runs from the final 10 overs, they were never really in danger of overhauling England's total. He also took 61 wickets in ODIs, with a career-best of 5 for 45 and three four-fors. The top eight ODI sides, including hosts England, on the cut-off date gain automatic entry into the showpiece event while the bottom four will have to go through the rigours of a qualifying competition, where ten contenders fight for only two spots.

"We understand that England are a team that's way up there and we're looking to build a solid unit to go forward as well, so we're looking forward to a good contest".

Moeen is more than twice the price of Rashid, and that just looks wrong. But it was his dual strike upfront which put West Indies on the back foot from the beginning of the run chase.

Gabriel and Nurse were the pick of the West Indies bowlers with two wickets apiece.

The surface at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua offered variable bounce - the Shannon Gabriel deliveries that dismissed Jason Roy and Joe Root early on keeping low. Enjoyed some luck early on, but made the most of it. 36-1 in the 10th over soon became 39-3 in the 12th over with Lewis pulling Woakes to Billings, Powell falling to a leading edge off Plunkett and Braithwaite looping a poorly executed pull to mid-on off Woakes.

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