England's fielding was above par in the 5th ODI vs West Indies © Getty Images
England’s fielding was above par in the 5th ODI vs West Indies © Getty Images

At one point Chris Gayle was on 3 from 20 balls. Then he took a sudden liking towards Jake Ball. He smashed him for four sixes, mostly between long-on and deep cover, to back-of-a-length or slightly full deliveries. Nonetheless, his 29-ball 40 came to an end as Liam Plunkett pulled off a stunner. Then, from 56 for 1 in 8 overs, West Indies (or The Windies) moved onto 86 for 2 within the next 7 overs. As has often been the case, they failed to press hard in the middle overs, and added only 49 runs between overs 15 and 30. There were 48 dot balls and no boundary in that phase — a below-par effort in modern era. Marlon Samuels failed to shift gears, while Shai Hope stuck his end but found run-scoring difficult.

Shai’s 72 and Sunil Ambris’ late strikes propelled West Indies to 288 for 6 in the final ODI against England at The Rose Bowl, Southampton. Shai took 78 deliveries to get his first boundary, but departed once he got going. Ambris and Ashley Nurse’s cameos have taken them close to 300, but they will be wary of England’s batting depth.

Tom Curran debuted, replacing Chris Woakes in the line-up. He had a decent outing finishing at 6.2 per over. Ball was hammered in his opening spell but came back well in the middle overs before faltering in the death. He conceded 92 runs in his full quota of overs. Plunkett pulled off two blinders, and bowled at brisk pace to end with 2 for 54. Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali kept things tight in the middle overs. They shared a wicket each by luring the batsmen to step out.

West Indies managed 61 off the last 5 overs, and will be blaming themselves for the middle over fiasco. They have to produce a much-better bowling performance to restrict England.

Brief scores:

West Indies 288 for 6 in 50 overs (Chris Gayle 40, Shai Hope 72, Sunil Ambris 38*; Liam Plunkett 2 for 54, Moeen Ali 1 for 36) vs England.