West Indies v England
Thursday March 9, 13:30
TV: Live on Sky Sports
West Indies have battled hard in this series and have probably outperformed expectations. They got close to an upset in North Sound but will rue a batting display which left them 50 runs short.
There are positives. Their spin threat of Ashley Nurse and Dev Bisho were brilliant trying to defend 225. They took three and two wickets respectively as England suffered a major wobble collapsing from 108 for two to 124 for six.
They will also wonder why Jason Mohammed's off-breaks were under used. He only had four overs at an economy rate of 3.75 and if he'd been introduced earlier the result could have been different.
A smart move would be to get those three bowling 30 overs this time with everyone else bar Shannon Gabriel bowling cutters.
Alex Hales is expected to come back into the XI after recovering from a hand injury which means Sam Billings is set to lose his place. The Hales-Jason Roy opening partnership is England's preferred combination.
England will be tempted to give fringe players a game but with the Champions Trophy looming, there is a feeling that this is a time for players to bed in.
That means the likes of Jake Ball, who is fit, Jonny Bairstow and Liam Dawson are unlikely to be given a run out. Although that seems harsh on Ball considering he was the man in possession before an injury gave his place to Steve Finn.
The last 11 first-innings scores in day matches at the Kensington Oval (most recent first) read: 248-1/171-2/239-2/117-1/281-1/300-2/230-1/154-2/243-1/91-1/143-1. The most recent of those was six years ago, however, so it is fair to say that the ODI game moved on a bit since then. It looks a fair wicket for bat and ball, though.
Not much doing here. England are [1.39] and West Indies [3.35]. We are relying on English complacency to consider a wager on the home team.
And that's never a great position to be in. We're trying to guess what's going on in the heads of the England players.
So far they have had a couple of wobbles - one defending, one chasing - and it would not surprise us at all if they didn't give the Windies a sniff in this one in front of tremendous away support.
Top West Indies runscorer
Mohammed has had an excellent time of it, notching two fifties. He is 9/2 to top score. His most likely rival is Jon Carter who has had two good scores and looks a little overpriced at 17/2. Kraigg Brathwaite is a decent performer as well and is a 4/1 chance.
Top England runscorer
Joe Root's unbeaten 90 saw England home in North Sound and it is no surprise he is as short as 11/2. Hales gets a 3/1 quote on his return with Roy the same. But remember that Chris Waokes had to rescue England with a half-century. He is 55/1. Jos Buttler looks big at 10/1.
Eight plays seven in terms of total sixes for each teams so far this series. That's a one-shot lead for England. So it is a little surprising to see the tourists rated as short as 8/13 with Sportsbook to hit the most sixes. Yes, we know they are a stronger team than the Windies but that doesn't equate to clearing the ropes the most times. The West Indies are 9/5 and the tie 13/2.
1pt West Indies most sixes 9/5 (Sportsbook)
Ed Hawkins P-L
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running match advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. New points system (0.5pt-5) introduced for 2017.
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