Match Facts

Monday, May 3, Providence
Start time 1330 (1730 GMT)

The Big Picture

West Indies overcame Ireland pretty comfortably in their opening match and should face a much sterner test against an England side desperately hoping to break their duck in global tournaments. Ottis Gibson will have plenty of inside knowledge about this England team and has regular captain Chris Gayle back from injury to implement every devious plan he makes.
On the stodgy surfaces we have seen so far at Providence, the spinners play a key role and how the West Indies batsmen deal with England's spinners could prove crucial. Against Ireland they were almost embarrassed by 17-year-old left-arm-spinner George Dockrell, so Graeme Swann and Michael Yardy should feel confident.
England will be testing out yet another opening partnership in Twenty20 cricket and with Craig Kieswetter and Michael Lumb they feel they have finally stumbled on a combination powerful enough to boss the early overs. Quietly England have developed a competitive limited-overs side that, with Eoin Morgan there to finish an innings, appears to have all its bases covered.

Form guide (most recent first)

England LWLWA
West Indies WLLLW

Watch out for...

While Chris Gayle's performance usually dictates West Indies' fortunes, Kieron Pollard is another with a brutal ability to clear the ropes. His outings in the IPL were short and severe, clubbing boundary after boundary on his way to 273 runs at a strike rate of 185.71. If he gets hold of England's medium pacers, the Providence ground may not be big enough.
The World Twenty20 is littered with stars, many still swirling in their IPL riches. Michael Yardy is not one of them. Yet in the sticky conditions, his nagging left-arm-spinners have proved a revelation in the warm-up games, taking five wickets over the two games at a meagre economy rate. He could throw sand in the wheels of West Indies' middle order and chip in with lower-order runs if England get in trouble.

Team news

West Indies expect to welcome their captain after he missed the Ireland game with a stiff buttock, meaning one of hit-or-miss slugger Andre Fletcher or Narsingh Deonarine will drop out from the team that beat Ireland. Sulieman Benn remains doubtful with his shoulder injury as does Jerome Taylor.
West Indies (probable) 1 Chris Gayle (capt), 2 Shivnarine Chanderpaul, 3 Ramnaresh Sarwan, 4 Narsingh Deonarine, 5 Dwayne Bravo, 6 Kieron Pollard, 7 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 8 Darren Sammy, 9 Nikita Miller, 10 Ravi Rampaul, 11 Kemar Roach.
England are on baby-watch with Kevin Pietersen looking forward to his first-born, but he'll be available for this opening match and with Lumb expected to keep Ravi Bopara out of the side the top-order is settled. Their fast-bowling options are more muddled with Ryan Sidebottom's excellent form prompting calls for his elevation into the side, but it would be hard for him to dislodge one of James Anderson or Stuart Broad.
England (probable) 1 Michael Lumb, 2 Craig Kieswetter, 3 Kevin Pietersen, 4 Paul Collingwood (capt), 5 Eoin Morgan, 6 Luke Wright, 7 Michael Yardy, 8 Tim Bresnan, 9 Graeme Swann, 10 Stuart Broad, 11 James Anderson.

Pitch and conditions

The cheap boundaries that tend to epitomise Twenty20 cricket should be harder to come by on the Providence wicket. In sweltering conditions the ball should grip on a sluggish surface for the spinners and make any maximums altogether more memorable than normal. It's unlikely the pacemen will have much to draw from the wicket and it will be sweaty work for all the fielders in the heat.

Stats and trivia

  • West Indies have an excellent T20 record against England winning three of four encounters, most recently in the last World Twenty20 when they knocked England out of the tournament
  • England will try out their 16th opening combination but if Lumb does indeed join Kieswetter there will be the added twist that both openers are on debut.
  • Quotes

    "I'm sure they come out here with blood in their eyes and want to beat us."
    Chris Gayle is wary of a misty-eyed England team.
    "Ottis is a very close friend to all of us, but we have a job to do, to go out and win this match."
    Paul Collingwood won't be letting the familiar face of Ottis Gibson interfere with the task at hand.

    Sahil Dutta is assistant editor of Cricinfo