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Preview: T20 World Cup: England vs. West Indies - prediction, team news, series so far

Sports Mole previews the 2024 T20 World Cup match between England and the West Indies, scheduled to be played at the Beausejour Stadium on Thursday.

England will play their first match under lights at the 2024 T20 World Cup this week when they take on the West Indies at the Beausejour Stadium in St Lucia on Thursday.

This has all the ingredients to turn into one of the matches of the competition between an in-form home team, spurred on by a jubilant crowd, versus the defending champions, who are eager to get into their stride.


Match preview

England's Jos Buttler reacts on June 8, 2024© Reuters

England fans were put through the wringer during the group stages, as they saw their side get off to a miserable start that put them on the brink of elimination, before catching a break in the final group-stage match to keep their title defence alive.

Despite finishing tied on five points with neighbours Scotland, the Three Lions managed to get through to the Super Eight by the skin of their teeth, thanks to two big wins in their third and fourth group-stage matches against Oman and Namibia respectively.

Having dodged another early exit, following their ODI World Cup disappointment, England will now need a solid showing in their first match of the second round, though their recent trip to the Caribbean to face the Windies proved to be a difficult one, and ended in a 3-2 series defeat back in December.

Notably, during that series, a total of 120 sixes were struck between the sides, and based on the Windies' match against Afghanistan on this same strip last week, this could easily turn into a run-fest.

The relatively short boundaries will be a welcome sight for Jos Buttler's side, who will play here twice in this round of the competition, with a matchup against South Africa to follow after this one.

West Indies' Alzarri Joseph celebrates with teammates after taking a wicket on March 28, 2023© Reuters

Meanwhile, after years of underperformance and issues behind the scenes, West Indies are steadily earning back the right to be considered as one of the elite teams in the world, particularly in the white-ball format.

They were one of only three teams, along with Australia and the Proteas, that played and won all four of their group-stages games, capping off their unbeaten record in the first round with a commanding 104-run victory over Afghanistan 48 hours ago.

Nicholas Pooran, who is coming off a sensational Indian Premier League campaign with the Lucknow Super Giants, blasted an excellent 98 runs off 53 balls, which is the highest individual score in the tournament so far, helping his side to a tournament-high of 218.

Amid the chaos in their last match, a World Cup record powerplay was produced of 92 runs, a record-equalling 36 was scored in the fourth over, and Rashid Khan, T20's master illusionist, was taken for 24 in his final over.

With that result, the Windies have now won their last nine T20 internationals, excluding no-results. They also have a fantastic T20 World Cup record against the Three Lions, losing only once in their six previous encounters.


Team News

England's Chris Jordan celebrates after taking the wicket of Australia's Tim David on June 8, 2024© Reuters

Sam Curran made his tournament debut in England's rain-shortened game against Namibia on Saturday, with him and Chris Jordan coming in for Will Jacks and Mark Wood.

England suffered a significant injury blow ahead of this match, with Liam Livingstone forced to leave training early on Monday due to a niggle in his side, putting his participation in doubt.

Matthew Mott and Buttler will need to make a call over whether to reinstate Jacks at number three or if their batting line-up is better balanced with Jonny Bairstow and Harry Brook moving up to three and four respectively.

One of the most intriguing matchups here will be Rovman Powell's left-arm spin duo, Akeal Hosein and Gudakesh Motie, facing Buttler's predominantly right-handed batting lineup.

In the tournament so far, the duo has collectively claimed 12 wickets while maintaining an economy rate of under five runs per over. Hosein's inswinging arm-ball has been a potent weapon and one that the English will need to be wary of.


England squad: Jos Buttler (c), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonathan Bairstow, Harry Brook, Sam Curran, Ben Duckett, Tom Hartley, Will Jacks, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, Adil Rashid, Phil Salt, Reece Topley, Mark Wood

West Indies squad: Rovman Powell (c), Alzarri Joseph, Johnson Charles, Roston Chase, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Akeal Hosein, Shamar Joseph, Brandon King, Gudakesh Motie, Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russell, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd


Series so far

England

Match One: No Result

Match Two: England lost by 36 runs
Australia - 201/7 (20)
England - 165/6 (20)

Match Three: England won by eight wickets
Oman - 47 (13.2)
England - 50/2 (3.1)

Match Four: England won by 41 runs (DLS method)
England - 122/8 (10)
Namibia - 84/3 (10)


West Indies

Match One: West Indies won by five wickets
Papua New Guinea - 136/8 (20)
West Indies - 137/5 (19)

Match Two: West Indies won by 134 runs
West Indies - 173/5 (20)
Uganda - 39 (12)

Match Three: West Indies won by 13 runs
West Indies - 149/9 (20)
New Zealand - 136/9 (20)

Match Four: West Indies won by 104 runs
West Indies - 218/5 (20)
Afghanistan - 114 (16.2)


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We say: West Indies to win

Alongside Australia, the West Indies emerged as the best side in the group stage of the competition and have the advantage of having played on this very wicket just two days ago.

The Windies also have an incredible T20 record against England, and while this pitch will support the Three Lions' big-hitting, we feel the hosts will come away with the victory in a high-scoring affair.

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England celebrate taking a wicket against Pakistan on May 25, 2024.
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