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Nic Ladds 2nd Apr 2009 - 14:21

Chanderpaul can put England out of their misery

As unbelievable as it might seem, England actually have a chance of winning the One Day series against West Indies and are 10/11 in the betting to do just that.

Having been gifted the first ODI after some poor mathematics from West Indies coach John Dyson, England were again helped to record a victory last time via the Duckworth Lewis method.

A tricky total of 239 was cut to 135 off 20 overs which is much more achievable, although to be fair the style in which England achieved this easier total was a vast improvement on previous performances.

The betting, as usual is tight, with the Windies available at odds of 4/5 and whichever side takes this, they will have to work for their victory.

The pitch often produces a fair amount of swing and seam and England played on this pitch three times in the World Cup and struggled each time.

It would appear that the West Indies will be better suited by this as conditions were similar to that of the second ODI in Guyana where the Windies disposed of England easily, helped by a superb 112 from Shivnarine Chanderpaul.

Chanderpaul looks primed to once again be the hero for the home side and he is the choice for top West Indies batsman at odds of 7/2.

Ramnaresh Sarwan and Chris Gayle are both 3/1 in the betting, with Gayle slightly preferred of these two after he clubbed five sixes in the last game.

This also makes the 5/6 about Gayle beating Sarwan in a match bet appealing.

Despite his extremely public problems regarding being homesick and comments about his team-mates, Kevin Pietersen is 3/1 in the betting to be top batsman for England.

This is not his kind of pitch and KP's mind is obviously elsewhere making 7/2 about Andrew Strauss, who has been batting very well, much more appealing.

Paul Collingwood at 6/1 looks a decent price and if the top order collapse then perhaps Dimitri Mascarenhas at odds of 16/1 could repeat his top batsman status of the third ODI.

For a top bowler, Dwayne Bravo has impressed enough to be the pick at 3/1 while for England, if James Anderson can get the ball swinging he could be lethal and is the pick at 10/3 ahead of 11/4 shot Stuart Broad.

England have still been guilty of not using their power plays to full effect and while short, the 8/13 about West Indies hitting more sixes looks a certainty.

A fascinating finale greets us at the end of a controversial tour and providing the weather holds up and full match is played out, the West Indies are fancied to prevail

While England will be desperate to win to salvage something from this tour, you can be sure that all the players will be glad to get home and have one eye on just getting out of there.

The West Indies are not without their problems as the threats of strike action due to having not been paid hang over the squad, it will be interesting to see if the Windies give it their all or if it will be plaguing the morale of the team.

Both sides are full of professionals though and you would hope they will all give it their all, in which case there is no reason to desert the Windies who have looked on top for the whole series and their two defeats have come aided by the weather.

No matter what the result is of this game, England have a lot to think about in the lead up to the summer.

When one thinks of The Ashes this year, you can't help but think that if England can't see off an improving but mediocre West Indies side, how on earth are they going to cope with Australia?

West Indies - 4/5

Shivnarine Chanderpaul top West Indies batsman - 7/2

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