The West Indies face England in the fifth and final ODI of a series filled with drama on Friday, concluding one that will be remembered for years to come.
Wednesday’s fourth ODI saw England take a 2-1 series lead into the final game, with England posting a batting total of more than 400 runs for only their fourth time in history, the final score reading 418/6, beating West Indies by 29 runs.
Read below for a review of Tuesday’s performance, as well as our cricket expert’s best bets for the final day of the series.
Jos Buttler was the star of the show in the fourth ODI and those fortunate to see his batting performance live may have bore witness to arguably England’s greatest one-day innings.
His highest ever one-day return of 150 runs was remarkable in itself, let alone the fact that his final 100 runs came after facing just 32 balls. To put that into context, the fastest ever one-day century was struck in 2015 by AB de Villiers off 31 balls, against the West Indies.
His performance typifies England’s dramatic rise back to the top of the ODI world rankings, who capped a terrific afternoon after collectively breaking the world record for sixes in an ODI match with 24.
Windies battled valiantly but fell short by just 29 runs on a day where England were virtually untouchable.
It is unlikely that we will see a similar level of drama to that on show in the previous day of play, but West Indies’ efforts to overturn England’s 418 lead on Tuesday were superb.
Chris Gayle saw a return of over 150 runs himself on a day where his exploits may have been somewhat overshadowed by the England victory.
If Tuesday is anything to go by, Friday’s final day will likely be determined by a battle won between two batsmen: Buttler and Gayle. If either of the two players can emulate their form from the previous meeting, it’ll be tough to stop.
The best the Windies can hope for now is a series draw and you would expect that this would work in England’s favour, who will have the extra incentive in maintaining their precious lead acquired from a series filled with big moments.
Jonny Bairstow is the only top order batsman yet to record a big score in the series so the Yorkshireman will be desperate to end the series on a high, so his odds of 3/1 look very attractive.
There have been runs aplenty this series with the wickets tending to suit the batsman, particularly in the last match with hundreds for Buttler, Morgan and Gayle.
Bet on the highest individual score in a match over 115.5 at 5/6.