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Ballance and bell must maintain brilliant batting for second test


England will be disappointed with first test draw of West Indies tour, but need more of the same from Ballance and Bell.

Individual innings batting performances from first Ian Bell and then Gary Ballance had some of the gloss taken off them by the West Indies scraping a draw against England in Antigua.

This three-test series now moves on to Grenada where the tourists are odds-on at 5/6 with bet365 to win. Another draw comes in at 2/1, with the Windies 11/2 outsiders with BoyleSports to upset England.

Bell’s 143 first innings haul including an impressive 20 fours, and Coral make him 4/1 to be best batsman for the visitors. Ballance, meanwhile, who got 122 in the second innings, is slightly better at 9/2 with a number of bookies (Betfred, BetVictor and Ladbrokes among others) to top score.

The West Indies are not without their own centurions from Antigua, though. Jermaine Blackwood was 112 not out in their first innings, and is a best-price 8/1 with SkyBet to be best with the bat for the hosts.

Jason Holder, meanwhile smashed 103 off 149 balls in the second innings as the Windies held England, but is a long shot at 33/1 with Ladbrokes to come out as highest scorer of runs here.

Turning attention to the bowling, off break James Tredwell recorded impressive first innings numbers of four wickets for 47 runs, and is a top-price 9/2 with Coral to be best in this department again.

It’s James Anderson who has made recent headlines, however, after becoming England’s record wicket taker, and the fast-medium bowler is looking to extend that as well as improving.

“There is no way I am going to rest on my laurels and enter cruise control because I have the record,” said 32-year-old Anderson, who is 3/1 favourite with SkyBet and Ladbrokes to be best bowler for the tourists.

For the West Indies, Kemar Roach took the same for 94 in their first innings, and the Barbados-born fast bowler is joint-favourite at 11.4 (with William Hill and others) alongside Jamaican counterpart Jerome Taylor to be top with the ball for the hosts.

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