England vs. West Indies, Friday 14th June, 10:30am
The defeat to Pakistan merely proved to be a blip for England as they returned to form with a commanding victory over Bangladesh. They face a West Indies side that have had some success over England in recent times; going back to the T20 World Cup final in 2016, a Test series victory earlier this year and a drawn ODI series.
However, the latter two took place in the Caribbean and back home England are a formidable side. They have a very good record at the Hampshire Bowl as not only do they have the power to clear the ropes of the large outfield, but they are able to take advantage of the twos and threes on offer with their superior running between the wickets.
Although the Windies will have no problems hitting boundaries, they are way off England’s mobility and won’t be able to turn ones into twos.
The West Indies can be a handful on their day and in their two completed matches they’ve hammered Pakistan and narrowly lost to Australia. They blew away the Pakistan batting order with some hostile, quick bowling and reduced the Aussies to 38-4.
With no quality spin option, we imagine in will be the same tact from Jason Holder’s men, but pace on the ball is exactly what England want, and especially their openers.
Jonny Bairstow was removed early against South Africa by Imran Tahir in the opening match, while Jason Roy didn’t last long against Shadab Khan in the next, and they were both very watchful against Shakib Al Hasan against Bangladesh.
Both are much more comfortable against pace and in their two partnerships at this ground, they’ve hit 115 and 156, with the latter against the Windies in 2017.
Given West Indies don’t have a settled opening partnership, while Chris Gayle could struggle against the pace of Jofra Archer, as he did against Mitchell Starc, we’ll side with the hosts in the Highest Opening Partnership market.
It’s difficult to know what to make of the West Indies batting line-up as so far, they’ve chased down a small target against Pakistan, struggled against the quality and pace of Starc and Pat Cummins, and they didn’t bat against South Africa.
While there is no doubting the raw power they possess, Shai Hope and Nicholas Pooran have looked the most comfortable in these conditions.
Their running between the wickets could also be crucial at this venue, but whereas Hope may have to open and deal with Archer, Pooran comes in at no.4, and has impressed us in his two innings to date and is available at over three points more than Hope.
*all odds are subject to change