England and West Indies were both riding high but then both had their bubbles burst, England to Pakistan and West Indies to Australia, and suddenly England are barely in the top 4 while West Indies are out of it. This match could decide who makes the semi-finals and who doesn’t. While both could lose another match and still qualify, they don’t want to lose this one. England, being the top-ranked team and outright favourites, are favourites for this match, but West Indies are a serious chance, and, had they won their match against Australia, they would probably have walked into this match as favourites, and they nearly won that match too. Had West Indies beaten South Africa, rather than it being washed out when West Indies were ahead, then this match would look very different too. It’s an appetising encounter to look forward to.
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Five Fearless Predictions:
(1) West Indies will try their bouncer barrage
It worked against Australia and should work against England, though England have arguably a better batting line-up than Australia, and certainly have a longer batting line-up, but they may as well try it. It’s risky but it could well work and it seems like it is their best chance of success. Fingers crossed that Andre Russell is back for this one. Whether Ashley Nurse gets a game is debatable too. We could see all pace from West Indies here.
(2) England will not slow down
One thing about England is that they don’t give up just because they lose a few early wickets, or even have a collapse. They have the power in knowing that they bat deep and don’t need to stop until their final wicket falls. That’s how they can be beaten, and it is also why they are so terrifying.
(3) Chris Gayle will smash them
He was furious that he fell victim to three umpiring errors, just for him, and he personally will be wanting to make the bowlers pay. Only cheating umpires can get Gayle out. He will want to make England pay.
(4) There will be a lot of talk about umpiring and bails
The bails not dislodging was a big issue, as was the standard of umpiring. Michael Holding was on record saying that he thought that the umpires were terrible. Some went so far as to say that West Indies would have beaten Australia had the umpiring been better. This issue is not over yet and expect it to flow over into this match.
(5) West Indies will win
I do pick upsets from time to time and I am going to stick my neck out and pick West Indies here. I know that England are favourites but I think that we’ve got the right amount of controversy for the underdog to come through. West Indies have looked good this tournament, even in their loss to Australia, while England have had chinks in their armour so I am picking the upset.