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Cricket: West Indies v England T20 Series - Match Five Preview


West Indies v England 

Five-match T20 series – Match Five, January 30

Kensington Oval, Barbados (8pm UK)

We couldnt have asked for much more, could we. 

A series decider on a sun-kissed island without compare. 

Both sides really have treated us to some superb cricket. There will be many England fans who will say, Wed rather be 4-0 up. 

Fair enough. But after a pretty unwatchable Ashes series, it has been brilliant to see two teams go at it toe to toe in such entertaining fashion. 

There have been flaws in performances, of course, but that has only added to the entertainment. 

Aside from the series opener when England were bowled out for 103, it has definitely been a batters series on a ground which has hosted all games and hence why there has always been one short boundary due to the square getting full use. 

The last two games have highlighted that with Rovman Powells stunning century on Wednesday and Moeens brilliant 63 off 28 balls last night. 

Moeen later claimed two wickets in a routine defence of 193-6 to scoop the Player of the Match award, a gong I suspect will go to one of his closest mates this evening. 

England to seal the deal and give us something to cheer 

The disappointment of the Ashes wont be forgotten, but a series win here will at least be something to raise a glass to. 

At the start of the series, I thought England would win. Admittedly, more comfortably. But I’m not changing my mind now. 

Fair play to the West Indies, the island nation beaten 2-1 in a home ODI series by Ireland recently, they have put up a serious fight. Of course, they may still win it. Heck, they have the power with bat in particular to do it.

But I would be siding with England at 4/5 with PaddyPower. If you do fancy the West Indies, they are 21/17 with VBET. 

Rashid has been outstanding, deserving of more wickets

Adil Rashid has shown off all his wizardry in this series and deserves more wickets than the five he has taken. 

His economy rate of 6.12 per over is bettered only by Reece Topley (5.75) of anyone from either side who has taken a wicket. Topley has played only three games, while Rashid has been an ever-present. 

Rashid, the Yorkshire leg-spinner, needs only two wickets to reach 300 in internationals across all formats in his career, and I suspect he will get them this evening in a performance which betters anything he has produced so far on tour – his best was 2-24 in the second game last Sunday. 

The 33-year-old is the 11/4 joint favourite to be England’s top wicket-taker with Unibet alongside Saqib Mahmood and Tymal Mills. As indicated, Rashid would be my choice. 

With that, I would also be looking at the 16/1 on offer at Paddy Power for England’s best bowler in the series to sign off with a Player of the Match award.

Now, you may be wondering why I’m picking a bowler to be player of the match when I mentioned a batter’s series earlier on. Well, last night’s pitch was pretty slow. And that may be the same situation again 24 hours later. That should suit the spinners.