If a tight defeat to Pakistan had dampened England hopes as much as the weather has dampened much of Britain this week, then a convincing dismantling of Bangladesh in Cardiff could be the proverbial break in the clouds needed for Eoin Morgan’s side.
A scintillating 153 from Jason Roy set a dominant tone and laid the foundation for the host’s 386-6. He may also have put the Ashes selectors on standby.
Despite a second century of the tournament for Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh always looked shy of a World Cup record chase. They eventually fell 106 short, thanks in part to three wickets from the evermore assured Jofra Archer.
Our cricket betting expert previews England’s encounter with the West Indies and shares his best bets.
The West Indies
The men in maroon will be desperate to kick-start their own campaign. After an impressive seam bowling performance against Pakistan, a loss to Australia and a washout against South Africa has stalled their momentum.
With seam-friendly conditions likely to be on offer at The Rose Bowl, the West Indies pace attack will be in the game. Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas and Andre Russell could all be in the wickets. England have often struggled against left-arm seam, so I’ll give a salute to Cottrell for highest wicket taker in the match at 15/2. He grabbed two against Australia and looked to have found a good rhythm before rain cut short his opening spell against South Africa.
The threat of Chris Gayle is no secret to England fans or players. He smashed England to all parts in their recent ODI series in the Caribbean, averaging over 100. He also broke the record for most sixes hit by an individual in a bi-lateral series with 36. He’s available at 11/2 to score the most runs in the match, and 8/1 to go home with the Man of the Match award at Grosvenorsport.com.
The batting unit delivered once again for England in Cardiff on Saturday. Jonny Bairstow and Roy built the foundation for the innings with a 128-run opening stand. Bairstow in particular will be hoping his 51 can help him grow into the tournament after a nervy start. The Yorkshireman has been one of England’s most consistent performers in the last year, and is worth a punt at 11/2 to be top run scorer in the match.
James Vince could come into the team in place of Jos Buttler if the talismanic keeper-batsman does not recover from a hip injury in time. His ODI average of 28 is, well average, frankly. He’ll be determined to take his World Cup opportunity if it comes though and might be a decent outsider for highest run scorer at 9/1.
Although much has been said regarding England’s pace attack (unsurprising given how long we’ve waited for a 90mph bowler that we’d get a little excited about having two) of Jofra Archer and Mark Wood. However with the wet, overcast conditions at play this week, there may be something in this pitch for a more traditional seam bowler. Chris Woakes has been a little expensive so far in the tournament but could come good here. He’s around 13/2 at Grosvenorsport.com to be the leading wicket taker.