Persistent rain causes ODI abandonment
Last updated: February 26, 2019 by Leon Marshal
Persistent rain has caused the abandonment of the third one day international between England and the West Indies. Play is expected to resume tomorrow in the five game series that is currently tied at 1-1.
Britain may be enjoying the unusually good weather at the moment but the old enemy, rain is wreaking havoc over in Grenada, causing the third ODI to be called off without a ball being bowled. The match was due to commence at 13:30 yesterday but was delayed as the skies opened up on the Caribbean island. A brief break in the rain enabled England captain Eoin Morgan to win the toss and elect to field.
The rain soon returned and whilst never reaching torrential levels, the sheer persistency of the rain left no window for the match to get started, the umpire calling the match officially off at 18:40. A decision that was understandable but devastating for the local support who had hoped to watch the first international staged at the fixture since 2015. The only action apart from the coin toss they saw for five hours was the covers being laid and removed.
Despite the lack of action, with the teams being announced it did at least enable us to have a look at the team selection.
Ben Stokes was ruled out of England’s starting line-up as a precaution after rolling his ankle during field practice on the eve of the match. Alex Hales stood in for him at number 5 and will be the most disappointed player over this abandonment. This was a golden chance to shine after being dropped to first reserve status among the batsmen. Chris Woakes was set for a return after being rested for the second ODI with a knee problem, and was due to take his place back from Tom Curran.
The West Indies named an unchanged eleven including a 100th ODI cap for Darren Bravo. Andre Russell, who has featured in 52 ODIs scoring 998 runs at 25.51 and taking 65 wickets at 32.73, returns to the squad, despite still nursing a knee problem that could hinder his bowling.
England are on a run of nine bilateral series victories on the bounce and won the opener of this five-match series. In the first ODI, England pulled all the strings, chasing down a record 360 with centuries from Jason Roy and Joe Root to win the opening match by seven wickets.
As sure as day follows night, it wouldn’t be England if there wasn’t at least one batting collapse per series and they duly delivered. In the second match West Indies produced a thrilling comeback victory of 26-runs at the Kensington Oval, Barbados. England were chasing 290 for victory before losing their last six wickets for just 35 runs as they collapsed to 263 all out.
England are finding out that this West Indies team has some quality players already. Holder, who put away Tom Curran and Jos Buttler in consecutive balls during England’s downfall is dangerous. Another player to be cautious of is Sheldon Cottrell, his 5 – 46 is a career high for the 29-year-old. Cottrell’s return to the team saw him catch Rashid behind and dismissed Moen Ali two balls later.
If conditions do improve in Grenada, the start of the fourth ODI between West Indies and England is due to start on Wednesday at 13:30.