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September 24, 2011
September 25, The Oval
Start time: 6.30pm (1730GMT)
It was easy for England on Friday evening as they cantered to their first 10-wicket victory in a Twenty20 international and their momentum showed no signs of abating as the season comes to an end. The match was a contest for 10 overs, but from 97 for 2 West Indies subsided in dismal fashion against a combination of Ravi Bopara, Jade Dernbach and England's outstanding fielding.
Graeme Swann had to do some thinking as Dwayne Smith cut loose in the Powerplay but he remained calm and produced a number of clever bowling changes, including using Samit Patel early then entrusting Bopara with the death overs. No wonder he was in a chipper mood after the match. Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook and Stuart Broad won't hear the end of Swann's time as captain.
For a while West Indies suggested they would present a challenge, but the batsmen struggled against spin as inexperience shone through. However, everyone knew this was a raw side coming over, and deficiencies in batting and bowling can almost be accepted. The shocking standard of fielding, though, was really embarrassing. No matter how inexperienced a team is, they should be able to compete with commitment through diving, catching and throwing.
It was West Indies' first game after their off-season, so some rustiness was to be expected, but the squad had spent time at a camp in Barbados before this trip. Ottis Gibson, the coach, must be exasperated by what he was watching. It's hard to see much changing with one day between games, but West Indies will cling to the hope that one performance can win a Twenty20 match. In truth, though, it will take more much to stop England.
Form guide(completed matches, most recent first)
Craig Kieswetter and Alex Hales both played superbly to knock off the target in the first match, but the 10-wicket margin meant there wasn't a chance to see England's exciting middle-order in action. Jos Buttler, the Somerset wicketkeeper-batsman, has played two Twenty20 internationals and still hasn't got to the middle. Although a keeper by trade he has shown some brilliance in the outfield and produced a direct hit to run out Devendra Bishoo on Friday. Straight after this series is finished he is heading off to join Somerset at the Champions League Twenty20.
Marlon Samuels is an experienced player amid a host of new faces for West Indies but he struggled for 4 off 7 balls before being cleaned up by Swann. He'd come in after a flying start provided by Dwayne Smith and it was disappointing that he couldn't consolidate. It's difficult to come in and fire straight away against quality bowlers, but Samuels could have given himself a little more time. West Indies need him to perform.
There was plenty of assistance for England's spinners in the opening game so there will be a temptation to play either Scott Borthwick, the Durham legspinner, or Hampshire left-arm spinner Danny Briggs, although it's hard to see how they would fit in. One option would be to leave out Steven Finn, but that would mean using Dernbach earlier in the innings.
England (possible): 1 Craig Kieswetter (wk), 2 Alex Hales, 3 Ravi Bopara, 4 Jonny Bairstow, 5 Ben Stokes, 6 Jos Buttler, 7 Samit Patel, 8 Tim Bresnan, 9 Graeme Swann (capt), 10 Steven Finn, 11 Jade Dernbach
It's hard to know what West Indies can do, but they can't lose anything by making a few changes. Nkruma Bonner looked out of his depth with bat and ball so Miles Bascombe may get a game, while the left-arm spin of Garey Mathurin could be used on a worn surface.
West Indies (possible): 1 Dwayne Smith, 2 Johnson Charles, 3 Marlon Samuels, 4 Danza Hyatt, 5 Miles Bascombe, 6 Derwin Christian (wk), 7 Darren Sammy (capt), 8 Andre Russell, 9 Garey Mathurin, 10 Devendra Bishoo, 11 Fidel Edwards
Pitch and conditions
The same pitch will be used on Sunday so expect more assistance for the spinners. Bopara also showed the value of taking the pace off the ball and bowling straight. The weather is also set fair with the UK enjoying some belated summer weather as the season draws to a close.
Stats and trivia
"I'll take that, it was a dream start as captain. I asked the boys to give everything and they did that, I was delighted with the way everybody performed."
Graeme Swann enjoyed his captaincy debut
"When you get a good start you have to capitalise. The batsmen coming in have to be more responsible.
Darren Sammy wants more from his middle order
Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Andrew McGlashan
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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Plays of the Day from the second ODI between England and India, in Cardiff
Plays of the day from the third ODI between England and India at Trent Bridge
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Would he have fared better than the incumbent middle-order batsmen, Root and Ballance?