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Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Gayle could shine at rain-hit Trent Bridge

Big hitter poses major threat to England

Chris Gayle goes after the bowling in the West Indies' Twenty20 win over England
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Second ODI
Sky Sports Cricket, 12.30pm Thursday

One-day matches at Trent Bridge usually produce a deluge of sixes and the power hitters of England and the West Indies will be itching to get to the crease in the second ODI.

They could be frustrated by the weather in Nottingham, however, as heavy rain is forecast for much of the afternoon.

England are 1-3 to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series although a reduced-overs contest would probably suit the Windies, who convincingly won Saturday's Twenty20 international in Durham.

The tourists were far less assured in Tuesday's first ODI at Old Trafford as Jonny Bairstow's unbeaten 100 helped England stroll to a seven-wicket victory.

Bairstow's opening partner Alex Hales scored 171 in last year's ODI against Pakistan on his home ground and the Nottinghamshire blaster is 10-3 joint-favourite with Joe Root to top-score for England.

However, Chris Gayle has made a stirring return to the international scene and, if the rain relents, the Jamaican star could shine at Trent Bridge.

Best bets
The miserable forecast makes it difficult to be bullish about pre-match bets but it could be worth focusing on the top two in the West Indies batting order.

Gayle has faced 48 balls in the Twenty20 game and the first ODI, hitting seven of them for six, and his ball-striking ability makes him an enormous threat at a venue that suits big hitters.

Jos Buttler and Eoin Morgan struck 12 maximums from 78 deliveries between them against Pakistan last summer and when the top players find their range at Trent Bridge it can be tough for bowlers to peg them back. 

Opening partner Evin Lewis has made no secret of his admiration for Gayle's batting style and it may be worth splitting stakes on the master and the apprentice being named man of the match.

Lewis made an unbeaten 97, with Gayle just 22 not out at the other end, in a Caribbean Premier League match earlier this month and he played some stunning shots in a T20 innings of 51 at the Riverside last weekend.

He scored 148 against Sri Lanka in only his fourth one-day innings and, while he has failed to hit those heights in 14 subsequent knocks, he may well enjoy his trip to Nottingham.

C Gayle to be man of the match
1pt 12-1 Coral, Ladbrokes

E Lewis to be man of the match
1pt 16-1 Coral, Ladbrokes

Team news
Bairstow's century franked England's decision to pick him as opener ahead of Jason Roy, whose Surrey teammate Tom Curran is pushing for a place in the bowling attack. 

Flat pitches and short boundaries mean bowlers haven't had much fun in recent one-day games at Trent Bridge.

England smashed a record ODI total of 445-8 against Pakistan last summer, a couple of months after Nottinghamshire and Northamptonshire had produced an aggregate of 870 runs in a One-Day Cup match.

Heavy showers in mid-afternoon, clearing up by around 6pm. Highs of 16C.

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A reduced-overs contest would probably suit the Windies, who convincingly won Saturday's Twenty20 international in Durham
E.W. Terms
Sky bet