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Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Root's bat can land ODI series for England

Big scores expected at The Oval

England batsman Joe Root
1 of 1

Fourth ODI
Sky Sports Cricket, 12.30pm Wednesday

England's home summer of international cricket continues into the last week of September and they are 2-9 to seal a one-day series victory over the West Indies at The Oval.

Moeen Ali's staggering century helped England take a 2-0 lead in Bristol on Sunday and the number seven hit eight sixes in the space of 14 balls late in the innings.

That is a reflection of the batting talent in the England's one-day team and they should overpower the Windies at a venue where they eased to 300-plus targets against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in their last two ODIs.

Best bets
Moeen's remarkable hitting spree in Bristol deprived backers of Joe Root to be top England runscorer but the Test captain's innings of 84 was yet another classy effort.

Root's consistency is in danger of being taken for granted. Since the start of 2016, he averages 66 in ODIs with a strike-rate of almost 92 runs per 100 balls.

His five innings against the West Indies in that period have yielded three fifties and a century while his record at The Oval is solid with scores of 68, 48, 45, six, 65 and 133 not out in this year's Champions Trophy win over Bangladesh.

Moeen and Jonny Bairstow have made centuries in the two completed matches in the series and a clear weather forecast means it is worth backing another batsman to reach three figures on a flat deck at The Oval.

The bet has copped in six of the last seven one-dayers at the Vauxhall venue and in the other one Virat Kohli was 76 not out as India chased down a paltry 192 to beat South Africa.

England batting first would be the preferred scenario but Chris Gayle was just one blow away from a century in Bristol when he was narrowly run out by a direct hit. 

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Team news
Ben Stokes and Alex Hales have been suspended after Stokes was arrested in Bristol early on Monday morning. England bowler Tom Curran will be eager for an ODI debut on his home ground and Gayle, who missed the washout in Nottingham with a hamstring strain before blasting 94 in Bristol, will be assessed.

Venue
New Zealand racked up 398-5 in a 2015 ODI at The Oval, winning by just 13 runs on the D/L method, and excellent batting conditions usually prevail.

Surrey have used spinners to good effect in 50-over cricket recently but Pakistan's pace bowlers did the damage in the Champions Trophy final against India - a match that featured 15 sixes.

Weather
Cloudy but dry with sunny intervals, 20C.


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Root's consistency is in danger of being taken for granted. Since the start of 2016 he averages 66 in ODIs
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