West Indies v England, 2nd ODI, Antigua March 4, 2017

WI scrap as England search for knockout


Match facts

March 5, 2017
Start time 0930 local (1330 GMT)

Big Picture

If the first ODI was a boxing match, England would have scored a TKO in the final round. The result was pretty much as expected, with a few notable displays in England's largely workaday performance, but West Indies will have been encouraged by pretty much going the distance. A 45-run defeat was certainly not the mismatched mauling some may have feared.

Shannon Gabriel's new-ball spell had England in trouble, while Ashley Nurse did a decent containing job in the middle overs; then with the bat, Jason Mohammed led the resistance after West Indies looked to be in trouble at 39 for 3. Mohammed and Jonathan Carter combined composure with power - particularly in the case of the latter - and perhaps only the difficulty of chasing on a slow surface undermined them towards the end.

Stuart Law, West Indies' new coach, will surely feel he has some ingredients to work with as he tries to marshal a rise from No. 9 in the rankings and secure automatic World Cup qualification. Narrow defeats are not worth any more ranking points than heavy ones, however, and immediate improvement could be required as the tourists warm to the conditions and the task at hand.

England may not have blasted away their opponent in the opening rounds but they did show some improved ringcraft. Eoin Morgan's hundred showed the savvy that has not always been so apparent in the hard-hitting approach favoured by this side; Ben Stokes, too, applied himself to the situation and England were therefore able to grind their way to the brink of 300 without overreaching. A more ruthless performance with the ball will be on Morgan's tick list for the rematch.

Form guide

(last five completed matches, most recent first)

West Indies: LLLTW
England: WWLLW

In the spotlight

Jason Mohammed had only played two ODIs for his country - spread over four years and yielding six runs - before making his maiden half-century for West Indies in Antigua. After a strong Regional Super 50 for Trinidad, in which he was fifth on the run-scorers' charts, Mohammed has been preferred in the middle order to the younger, more dynamic Rovman Powell. He showed the value of his experience in the first match, during partnerships of 69 and 82 with Shai Hope and Carter respectively, and almost single-handedly milked Moeen Ali's offspin, scoring 30 of the 37 Moeen conceded to keep West Indies in the hunt. At 30, now is his chance to demand a run in the side.

It might be counterintuitive to suggest that one of the three men who passed 50 for England on Friday is under pressure - but that is the case for Sam Billings, who is attempting to hold on to his billeting as a makeshift opener while Alex Hales recovers from a hand injury. Billings has two fifties in three ODI outings at the top of the order but the sense here was of an opportunity missed after he had made it through the tricky initial stages against the new ball. Morgan has described Hales as a "very formidable player in our side" and Billings may need to produce something spectacular if he is not to drop straight back into England's very competitive pack of white-ball reserve batsmen.

Team news

The XI West Indies selected in the first ODI probably did enough to warrant another outing together. Rovman Powell offers another all-round option, while Alzarri Joseph offers extra pace with the ball.

West Indies (probable) 1 Kraigg Brathwaite, 2 Evin Lewis, 3 Kieran Powell, 4 Shai Hope (wk), 5 Jason Mohammed, 6 Jonathan Carter, 7 Jason Holder (capt), 8 Carlos Brathwaite, 9 Devendra Bishoo, 10 Ashley Nurse, 11 Shannon Gabriel

England are also likely to stick with the same side, although Hales could return at Billings' expense if passed fit. The teams did not train on Saturday but Jake Ball is not thought ready to play after injuring his knee in a warm-up match.

England (probable) 1 Jason Roy, 2 Sam Billings, 3 Joe Root, 4 Eoin Morgan (capt), 5 Jos Buttler (wk), 6 Ben Stokes, 7 Moeen Ali, 8 Chris Woakes, 9 Adil Rashid, 10 Liam Plunkett, 11 Steven Finn.

Pitch and conditions

The same pitch is to be used for the second ODI, which could make run-scoring even more of a struggle. Rainfall on Friday had contributed to a slightly damp surface in the morning but it quickly dried out and is likely to become more and more receptive to spin. There is again a forecast for early showers on Sunday but the day should otherwise be clear.

Stats and trivia

  • England now lead West Indies 43-42 on head-to-head results in ODIs - the first time they have done so since winning their very first encounter in 1973. England have won ten of the last 11 against West Indies.

  • The team West Indies played in the first ODI had 169 caps between them - fewer than Morgan, who has played 174 times for Ireland and England.

  • Steven Finn needs two more wickets to reach 100; if he gets there in this series, he will be the third-fastest to do so for England.


"We showed that, as a young team, we can compete with England and we can win games."
Jason Mohammed believes West Indies can push on to better results

"We took early wickets but they managed to rebuild. That's what experienced sides do, so credit to them for doing it."
Eoin Morgan praised the opposition for their fight in the first ODI

Alan Gardner is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @alanroderick

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • cricfan78182426 on March 6, 2017, 15:02 GMT

    Jason Holder and Carlos Brathwaite are on the WI side just because they are from Barbados Carlos scored in the world with the encouragment of Samuel,these two guys need to go home bring back Sammy as captain for leadership.

  • cricfan78182426 on March 6, 2017, 14:32 GMT

    Carlos Brawaithe, and Jason Holder need to go,bring back Sammy for leadership the only way WI win again.

  • cricfan86978492 on March 5, 2017, 17:29 GMT

    @ALTAFPATEL,i think,you as a bangladesh fanatic,clearly missed the point,they didn't thrash england.did they?

  • cricfan9040667893 on March 5, 2017, 14:13 GMT

    if any test team want to improve ranking .the obvious place is wi.surely u can improve.psthetic wi .therevboard i wondet has the greatest guts to test the wi people.

  • Cricinfouser on March 5, 2017, 13:27 GMT

    west indies has the ability to win against england as mohamed said but not the mental toughness to take them over the line. a few changes and determination will do the trick.

  • LeeJA on March 5, 2017, 13:07 GMT

    @ALTAFPATEL...the last tour was 2015.

  • WNHS on March 5, 2017, 12:58 GMT

    Can we please stop with the Kraigg brings stability nonsense. He has never batted through half of the overs while having a test cricket strike rate. That is the problem right there. He brings no stability that people so thinks he brings and he is just too slow for limited overs cricket. Drop him, move Kieran Powell up the order to open with Evin Lewis and bring in Rovman Powell. Also drop Carlos and bring in Alzarri because depending on Jason Holder to help Shannon Gabriel is like waiting for snow to come to the Caribbean. Not going to happen

  • realjamaican on March 5, 2017, 10:58 GMT

    why Carlos is playing R'powell is for better all-rounder

  • AltafPatel on March 5, 2017, 10:58 GMT

    WI can't afford to just show that they can compete when playing at home. Look even at Bangladesh.They just thrash visiting team, whoever they are...India, Pakistan, South Africa, New Zealand, England, WI.

  • AltafPatel on March 5, 2017, 10:56 GMT

    Don't know why England toured WI despite they already had toured them last year for test and ODI series? Just to make record better?

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