3rd Test: England vs West Indies
A best of three cricket series always has the potential for dramatic and frenetic action, and we’ve had exactly that in the first big Test match contest of the summer.
The next game, 3rd Test: England vs West Indies is the climax of a much-awaited series, in which the first two have certainly not disappointed. Jason Holder’s West Indies came out fighting in the opener and won an impressive victory, but in the 2nd Test, the tourists were simply blown away by the brilliant Ben Stokes.
The Windies have been undergoing a renaissance, putting India under pressure in last summer’s ODI series, some achievement against Virat Kohli’s superstars. And under the leadership of Holder, they have begun to regain the pride and fighting spirit which made them the best side in the world in the 1980s.
But this England, on its day, is the most explosive side on the planet, and the Windies must hope they can avoid a repeat of their 2nd Test mauling.
The world of cricket saw just how exceptional a talent England all-rounder Ben Stokes is in the summer of 2019 when he inspired his nation to ODI World Cup glory and then smashed Australia to all parts of the Headingley ground in the most devastating innings of recent times to win the third Ashes Test.
So as sure as night follows day, we knew there would be no way anyone could keep the Durham Destroyer out of the England vs West Indies news but the way he simply blew the Windies away was a sight to see. First, he went big in the first innings, plundering 176 from 356 balls and then, with time ticking away, he opened England’s second innings and smashed an unbeaten 78 from 57 balls before helping the England bowling attack skittle the tourists for 198 on a dramatic last afternoon.
England skipper Joe Root said: “We have to understand that we are, without wanting to pump Ben’s tyres up too much, in the presence of greatness. We have to savour that. The sky is the limit for him.”
There were other encouraging signs for the Three Lions as opener Dom Sibley showed dogged resilience and craftsmanship to put together an innings of 120 from 372 balls while sharing a 260 stand with Stokes in England’s first innings.
And veteran pace bowler Stuart Broad, who was vocally in his anger at his omission from the 1st Test, showed just how good he is, roaring in at Old Trafford to take three wickets in the space of 14 ball in West Indies’ first innings before taking another three victims in the second.
So Root and his selectors have a dilemma to consider for the final Test on Friday. Fast bowler Jofra Archer was sensationally dropped from the 2nd Test and could be left out again. Archer breached England’s bio-secure protocols after the 1st Test, visiting his home in Hove. He was fined and given a warning, but his suspension may be extended after officials said his actions risked an entire summer of cricket.
Can Windies recover from the England whirlwind?
Jason Holder led his West Indies team to a magnificent 1st Test victory but they can’t have imagined just how ferocious the England response would be.
The England vs West Indies betting odds don’t hold out much hope for the tourists to recover in the 3rd Test but Holder will tell his team to look for the positives and come out battling again.
On the bowling front, off-spinner Roston Chase took five for 172 in England’s first innings, while fast bowler Kemar Roach took two quick wickets as England blasted away in the second innings.
As the hosts strained for victory, Shamarh Brooks and Jermaine Blackwood held England up with a century stand, each scoring a fifty which looked, at one stage, to be enough to save the game, and Brooks also scored 68 in the first innings.
The Windies have some talented players, but are they tough enough to withstand England’s charge?
Since the rivalry between England and West Indies started in 1928 there have been 161 Test matches, 50 won by the Three Lions and 58 by the Windies, while there have been 51 draws.
The sides compete for the Wisden Trophy which is currently held by the tourists after Jason Holder’s side beat England 2-1 in 2019. But Joe Root’s team is a strong favourite to win this series as they are unbeaten against West Indies, on home soil, since 1988.
|England vs West Indies||1st Innings – Ben Stokes to Score 50, Asian Handicap: 0.00 YES @ 2.51|
|July 24-29, 18:00 (GMT+8)|
The SBOBET odds of 1.79 for England to win look fair enough, with the draw at 2.62 and the West Indies out at 7.80.
But the weather in Manchester looks unsettled over the next week and we could lose some play, so I’m going for the fun option of Stokes to continue where he left off, and that would be well worth watching!
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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