London: West Indies will look to save the series when it takes on England in the fourth One-Day International at The Oval in London on Wednesday (September 27).
The visitor is down 0-2, having suffered setbacks in the first and third games, with the second one ruined by rain. The first loss saw it squandering a distant chance to qualify directly for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, while the loss in the third ODI has ensured that only one team can win the series now.
For that, Windies has to get two things right. Firstly, it will have to get over the shock it got in the form of Moeen Ali on Sunday. The England all-rounder took the Windies bowlers apart with a whirlwind 57-ball 102, lifting the hosts to 369 for 9 after it had slumped to 217 for 6 at one stage.
The stunning attack included eight sixes – all of them coming in Moeen's last 12 balls - and seven fours, leaving Windies clueless and shaken. That knock was enough for England to seal a 124-run win, despite Chris Gayle's 78-ball 94.
More importantly, Windies will have to maintain its intensity for longer periods if it is to challenge this English side. Windies has impressed in parts but has never managed to close things down. That came to the fore in the Bristol ODI, where it kept England in check for a majority of the innings before Moeen took the game away in a flash.
With the bat too, Gayle kept it in the hunt but received little support, resulting in Windies folding for 245. That those runs came in only 39.1 overs show how Windies kept attacking all the way through, but not always with a plan. Gayle gave Windies a decent start in the first ODI too with a 27-ball 37, but Windies will need others to step up.
If they don't, it could be too late as this English side is relentless and ruthless. It boasts of a batting line-up that has Adil Rashid at No. 11, and showed its depth in Bristol. On some days, like in the first ODI where Jonny Bairstow led it to a win with a century, it may not need the depth as the top order has enough firepower and quality.
It leaves England the overwhelming favourite once again, but as it showed in the Test series, Windies can spring a surprise or two when pushed to a corner.
England: Eoin Morgan (capt), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Jos Buttler (wk), Tom Curran, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, David Willey, Chris Woakes.
West Indies: Jason Holder (capt), Kyle Hope, Shai Hope (wk), Sunil Ambris, Devendra Bishoo, Miguel Cummins, Chris Gayle, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Ashley Nurse, Rovman Powell, Marlon Samuels, Jerome Taylor, Kesrick Williams.
Stats and trivia
Wednesday September 27, 2017
Start time 1230 local (1130 GMT)