Windies opt to bat in first ODI against England

Manchester [UK]: West Indies won the toss and elected to bat in the first ODI of the five-match series at the Old Trafford, Manchester on Tuesday.

Earlier, the toss was delayed because of incessant rains which left the outfield wet. The match has been reduced to 42-overs a side.

The game at Old Trafford is set to be Chris Gayle’s first ODI since the ICC World Cup 2015, where he made the first double-century in the competition’s history, smashing a blistering 215 against Zimbabwe in Canberra.

Windies must win the upcoming series either 5-0 or 4-0 with a tie or no-result if it wants to gain direct entry into the 2019 ICC World Cup in England. A failure to do so would mean that Windies, the 1975 and 1979 world champions, cannot overtake Sri Lanka, currently No. 8 in the ODI rankings.

Only the top seven sides apart from hosts England, currently No. 4, as of September 30 will qualify directly for the 50-over showpiece event in 2019. Teams that do not gain direct entry will get another shot through a qualifying tournament.

West Indies (Playing XI): Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Marlon Samuels, Shai Hope(w), Rovman Powell, Jason Mohammed, Jason Holder(c), Devendra Bishoo, Ashley Nurse, Jerome Taylor, Kesrick Williams

England (Playing XI): Alex Hales, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan(c), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler(w), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett, David Willey (ANI)