West Indies bowl first as Gayle returns to the fray

Chris Gayle returned after missing the second ODI © Getty Images

Toss West Indies chose to bowl v England
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details

West Indies won the toss and chose to field first on an overcast but dry day at Bristol, as they looked to take early advantage of a green-tinged wicket in the third ODI and battle back from 1-0 down.

They will have to do so without the services of their lively seamer Kesrick Williams, who suffered a back spasm at Trent Bridge and has been replaced by the legspinner Devendra Bishoo. But they do welcome back the “Universe Boss”, Chris Gayle, who was pulled out of the team at the last minute after tweaking a hamstring ahead of the second ODI. He steps in in place of Kyle Hope to resume his partnership with Evin Lewis at the top of the order.

There were no changes for England, whose policy in white-ball cricket these days is to experiment as little as possible with team line-ups – new faces will be trialled in T20Is instead, according to Andrew Strauss, the director of England cricket.

Eoin Morgan, the captain, admitted he would have bowled first given the choice, and added that he hoped the pitch “plays better than it looks” – it looks to be carrying some moisture and may well aid West Indies’ quicks if they can find their range early on.

The days of England winter-tour selections being made on the strength of a solitary one-day performance are long gone, but nevertheless, with England’s Ashes squad set to be announced ahead of Wednesday’s fourth ODI at The Oval, today is the last chance for one of these players to make their case for the Australia tour.

Alex Hales, whose timing was as sweet as the match was brief at Nottingham on Thursday, is the prime contender in that regard. However, with Toby Roland-Jones out of contention following his stress fracture, could Liam Plunkett make a belated case for the spare seamer’s role? He’s not set the world alight in four-day cricket this summer, but his deck-hitting aggression would let no-one down if he was given a chance to add to his 13 Test caps.

England 1 Alex Hales, 2 Jonny Bairstow, 3 Joe Root, 4 Eoin Morgan (capt), 5 Ben Stokes, 6 Jos Buttler (wk), 7 Moeen Ali, 8 Chris Woakes, 9 Adil Rashid, 10 Liam Plunkett, 11 David Willey

West Indies 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Evin Lewis, 3 Shai Hope (wk), 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Jason Mohammed, 6 Rovman Powell, 7 Jason Holder (capt), 8 Ashley Nurse, 9 Jerome Taylor, 10 Miguel Cummins, 11 Devendra Bishoo

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo. @miller_cricket

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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