Big Picture

Amid the swirling controversy and slooshing rain on Wednesday night, England won a one-day series. Sandwiched between England's Ashes squad announcement and further revelations about Ben Stokes' night out in Bristol, the Oval ODI deserves to be remembered for the individual efforts of Evin Lewis and Alzarri Joseph, even though they weren't enough to give West Indies the chance to level things up in Friday's finale.

Instead, the Ageas Bowl will bear witness to a low-key finish to the English summer. The Stokes issue will inevitably hover over proceedings - both he and Alex Hales have been officially suspended from England duty, in case anyone was wondering about their involvement - and its implications for the Ashes have already begun to swallow up the tail end of West Indies' tour. England's distraction was apparent in a disjointed performance at The Oval, only for heavy rain and a calculated assault from Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali to steal the match.

As if to compound the sense of anti-climax, West Indies will be without their captain for the final ODI, as Jason Holder has returned to Barbados to attend his uncle's funeral. Lewis won't play a part, either, having suffered a fractured ankle digging out a yorker in the closing stages of the West Indies innings, putting a stop to his majestic 176.

Lewis is expected to be out for a few weeks but there will be another chance for Joseph to impress, after he became the youngest West Indian to take an ODI five-for. There have been encouraging signs for Stuart Law and his fellow coaches over the last two months and, even if England have lost focus, the tourists would love to finish on a high note.

Form guide

(last five completed matches, most recent first)

England WWWLW
West Indies LLLLW

In the spotlight

Given an unexpected opportunity by off-field occurrences, Jason Roy cashed in at The Oval. His first half-century in ten innings was full of purposeful punches and whips across the line - such was his return to form that he even managed to get out when well set, an unwanted habit developed over the last year. It has been a disappointing summer, after his breakthrough 2016, but he will be aiming to end it well.

Alzarri Joseph came to England with a burgeoning reputation as a West Indies quick worthy of the lineage. However, after conceding 0 for 109 in the pink-ball Test at Edgbaston, he slipped out of contention and it was over a month before he found himself in a West Indies shirt again. With slippery pace and a well-deployed short ball, the 20-year-old claimed his maiden international five-for to give his side a chance of a win.

Teams news

England have called up Dawid Malan, after the completion of Middlesex's Championship fixture, and he could join Tom Curran in making an ODI debut. A dead rubber perhaps gives England the chance to rest players such as Joe Root and Chris Woakes.

England (probable) 1 Jason Roy, 2 Jonny Bairstow, 3 Dawid Malan, 4 Eoin Morgan (capt), 5 Jos Buttler (wk), 6 Sam Billings, 7 Moeen Ali, 8 Adil Rashid, 9 Tom Curran, 10 Liam Plunkett, 11 Jake Ball

Jason Mohammed will captain West Indies in Holder's absence. Kyle Hope seems likely to come in, although Sunil Ambris is an option for a debut, while Carlos Brathwaite has been added to the squad* and might be pressed into action straight away.

West Indies (probable) 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Kyle Hope/Sunil Ambris, 3 Shai Hope (wk), 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Jason Mohammed (capt), 6 Rovman Powell, 7 Carlos Brathwaite, 8 Ashley Nurse, 9 Alzarri Joseph, 10 Jerome Taylor, 11 Miguel Cummins

Pitch and conditions

The Ageas Bowl tends to serve up run-filled surfaces for limited-overs cricket, with seam and spin in line to go the distance. There could be some rain around in the morning and it is likely to be a chilly evening in the field for the latest finish to an England season on record.

Stats and trivia

  • England extended their winning record over West Indies to 15 out of the last 16 ODIs, thanks to some DLS-savvy batting at The Oval.
  • Lewis' score of 176 was the highest by a batsman retiring hurt in international cricket.
  • West Indies have twice won ODIs at the Ageas Bowl (then Rose Bowl), during the 2004 Champions Trophy, but were beaten there by England in 2012.
  • Quotes

    "We were up against it, particularly given that we knew there was rain coming … We lost wickets a bad stages, through mistakes, [but] at no stage were we flustered with the run rate."
    Eoin Morgan on England's DLS escape

    "I felt, had the rain not come, it would have been a very close finish. We were backing ourselves to win it."
    Jason Holder rues one that got away

    *2200 GMT - This story was updated with news of Brathwaite's call-up

    Alan Gardner is an associate editor at ESPNcricinfo. @alanroderick