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West Indies V England: Third Men’s One-Day Cricket International – Live

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Here are the teams:

West Indies: Alick Athanaze, Brandon King, Keacy Carty, Shai Hope (C & WK), Shimron Hetmyer, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd, Yannic Cariah, Alzarri Joseph, Gudakesh Motie, Matthew Forde

West Indies have selected 21-year-old allrounder Matthew Forde for an ODI debut, Oshane Thomas misses out.

England: Will Jacks, Phil Salt, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Harry Brook, Jos Buttler (C & WK), Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran, Rehan Ahmed, Gus Atkinson, Matt Potts

Buttler confirms that Potts has come in for Carse due to the latter being a bit poorly.

West Indies win the toss and decide to bowlShai Hope calls the coin correctly and inserts England with a bit of weather knocking around. It is 43 overs per side with three bowlers being allowed to deliver nine overs each and two eight overs each. Keep up. The first powerplay will be nine overs and the last eight overs. Play is due to begin in just over ten minutes time.

Stand by your beds! We have the possibility of cricket! Toss at 19.10 GMT for a 19.30 GMT start, it’ll be a 43 overs per side game if all goes to plan.

“I was not at the Botham miracle at Headingley in 1981.” Chimes Stephen Hart. “Although every man of my generation with even a vague interest in cricket apparently was. If I had a pound for everyone who has said to me, ‘I was there, mate’, I’d be a very rich man. However I was at the Stokes Headingley miracle in 2019.Honestly.”

Ha. Yes there are definitely a few out there telling porkies/beefies about being there in ‘81. Look at the empty seats!

I gave my brother Will and sister-in-law Lucy my tickets for the Stokes day at Headingley ‘19. I wasn’t being altruistic either, I just thought England were going to get pummelled and it would be a depressing way to spend a morning.

Greetings to Rob Glossop who has a few tight finishes up his sleeve:

“Hi James,

Well, given 30 adult years of following England cricket, there have been plenty involving leather and willow – including a wife-annoying dinner on lap for WC final super over – but 37 years following Oldham Athletic has offered more great escapes (and even more dismal non-escapes).

My favourite is probably the earliest, where Division 2 (as was) West Ham’s name was already being engraved on the promotion trophy as 2nd place Latics were 0-2 down to Sheffield Wednesday, before we clawed it back to 2-2. Future Oldham hero (as player and manager) John Sheridan hauled down Latics’ Andy Barlow for a 92 min pen, and Neil Redfearn’s spot kicked his way into the history books. How did I ‘watch’ it? Stranded in the Southeast, it was of course through the pixely pre-internet joy of Ceefax + Final Score. Insurmountable Nirvana. But Ben Stokes has come close once or twice, eh?”

Lovely, nothing like following a nail biter by hook or by crook – here’s how I had a breakdown followed that same final *Warning – includes heavy doses of schmaltz*

Archer. Guptill. Roy, Buttler, Bails! Relief. Joy. Tears.

Go on then, here’s another on heavy rotation in the Wallace household right now.

No news from the ground, as you may have gathered, but I’m having a lovely time. Hic!

Lovely this, from Joseph Guntrip:

“I watched the Headingley 2019 Test in the bar of the Hilton hotel in Sunderland with my brother and cousin ahead of our grandmother’s 90th birthday party that evening. We were relegated to watching a phone as they showed the football on the TVs, and we missed the winning runs because the BBC sport notification saying we had won vibrated the phone off its precarious perch against a glass!”

Would never have happened with the OBO Joseph!

Still drizzling in Barbados. I’m tempted to open the mulled wine, have already got the Christmas tunes on, the tree is up and the windows are fogged here in South London. I’m always on the lookout for off-beat festive tunes or cover versions, don’t get me wrong I’ll crank some Wizzard and Mariah when the time is right but I’m all about some festive melancholia – the Smith and Burrows album has plenty – this one is a jaunty earworm though.

What is Christmastime without a bit of forced fun eh? As it seems we have a bit of hokey cokey time to kill let’s get the egg nog and mince pies out and settle in by the crackling OBO fire (eco-friendly fuel of course, this is The Guardian and Monbiot could be following…) in honour of Joe Solomon’s passing and his aforementioned role in the tied Test – let’s collate some of your favourite tight finishes and how you were following the action (cricketing mainly obviously but I’m open to other options).

I was lucky enough to be at Headingley for the Woakes and Wood show during the Ashes this summer and at the Oval for Broad’s (slightly sickly) swansong. Both induced some cuticle chewing. Another from recent times is England’s single run defeat to New Zealand at the Basin Reserve in February. I was on the OBO for that one and losing my mind in the wee small hours.

I’m all ears on the emails

The covers are now being pulled back on. Ho Ho Ho.

Good news! We will have the toss at 1.50pm local time (17:50 GMT) and a start time is pencilled in for 2.10pm (18:10 GMT).

Hello and err Boooooo to Michael Bromley…

“Sitting in St Thomas to the north east of the Oval (where the rain typically comes from) it is currently fine but there are dark clouds more or less all around. I’m not sure there’ll be a finish even if the game starts.”

Joe Solomon was, of course, the man who was involved at the nub end of the original tied test between Australia and West Indies in Brisbane in 1960/61.

Here’s Frank Keating on that incredible finish and Solomon’s pivotal role in it:

Wes Hall’s final over: eight deliveries, either six runs or three wickets. Suddenly, it’s scores level, two balls left for either one run or one wicket for victory.

A breathless hush. Hall thunders in, the tailender Kline makes edgy contact and calls his mate Meckiff for the 22-yard winner. But at square-leg, Solomon has pounced. He steadies himself and, with just one stump visible, he tumultuously bullseyes it in a convulsive, conclusive clatter.

Joe (80 last August) remembered vividly. To him an accurate aim was as natural as breathing. “The secret is balance, to be four-square steady as I took aim. You see, I was an east Indian country boy from Berbice, in the sticks, and before we could walk we’d be pitching marbles; later we’d steal ripe mangoes by downing them with sharp little flat stones, not aiming at the fruit, of course, but at their stalks.”

He chuckles on: “I still thank God for those two throws – I know my fame would have been of a very different sort if they’d have missed.”

It seems like if and when the players do emerge that both sides might be largely unchanged but with the potential for a Durham duke out – Matt Potts has been seen marking out his run up and would likely come in for county teammate Brydon Carse.

In sadder news, both teams will be wearing black armbands in memory of Joe Solomon, the former West Indies batter who died yesterday aged 93, and the former spinner and selector Clyde Butts, who was killed in a car crash in Guyana, also yesterday. There will also be a moment’s silence shortly before play begins.

Promising news from Simon at the ground:

“Covers still on, but it’s brightened considerably. It’s rained quite a bit over the last couple of days, but in brief bursts with a lot of dry weather in between, so that might be the end of it. Obviously we’re going to start late, but no word yet on when.”

A Rainy Night Afternoon in Soho Barbados

Covers on and the toss has been delayed. More as we get it. The weather is due to improve so there is every chance we’ll get a truncated game at some point.

As we wait for further news from Barbados – and I think I saw some blue sky on the TNT sports coverage – England’s women have duffed up India at the Wankhede Stadium to go 2-0 up and out of reach in their T20I series.

Our man on the ground is Simon Burnton and he whangs over an email from Barbados with slighly iffy news:

“Afternoon! The bad news from Barbados is that the covers are on, and it’s raining (lightly). The clouds are thick and dark, you can barely see the hills behind Bridgetown, and though the weather forecast is fine it is also demonstrably wrong.”

Gah. Thoughts and prayers to Simon’s suntan.

Preamble

James Wallace

Hello and welcome to the OBO of the third and deciding ODI between West Indies and England. The series is tied at one apiece after the first two matches in Antigua – Shai Hope pulling off a spectacular heist for his side in the first match only for Jos Buttler’s men to hit back on Wednesday with a convincing six wicket win.

All eyes on the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown today then to see if Buttler and co can get their white ball train back on the tracks after a disastrous World Cup and ahead of five T20 matches agains the men in maroon this side of Christmas. For Shai Hope and West Indies – today gives them an opportunity to notch their first win against a Full Member nation in a bilateral series since they defeated Sri Lanka in March 2021.

Play gets under way in Barbados in just over 30 minutes’ time, 1.30pm local time.

I’ll be back before then to bring news of the teams and the toss, please do drop me some Christmas post into the OBO mail sack with your thoughts, theories, musings and mirth. Once more unto the breach!

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