Classy Joe Root powers England to emphatic win over West Indies
In a vital pool game England beat West Indies by 8 wickets, with 16.5 overs to spare, at the Hampshire Bowl, in Southampton.
England 213 - 2 (Joe Root 100*, Jonny Bairstow 45, Chris Woakes 40; Shannon Gabriel 2-49)
West Indies 212 (Nicholas Pooran 63; Jofra Archer 3-30, Mark Wood 3-18, Joe Root 2-27)
Result - England won by 8 wickets
Their victory, chasing a target of 213, ought not to have been so straight forward, once its batting order required reshuffling, following injuries to two key batsmen – Jason Roy (hamstring) and Eoin Morgan (back).
With Joe Root in an exquisite touch, it turned out to be a ‘walk in the park’ against a one-dimensional West Indies pace attack, lacking fire today. As a make-shift opener, he blunted the opposition with a smart match winning unbeaten 100 off 94 balls with 11 fours, to earn his side, third victory in the World Cup.
England captain Morgan won an important toss and as expected opted to bowl first with a 10.30am start. His pace attack did not let him down. The moisture created helpful conditions and it also slowed down the wicket, to make life a challenge for the West Indies batsmen. Chris Gayle, dropped on 15 off Chris Woakes, was keen to attack and whilst doing so holed out on the mid-wicket fence and it was left to the middle order to rebuild the innings.
The aerial range of strokes, at the Hampshire Bowl, the largest of the 11 venues to be used in the World Cup, was ever so important for West Indies. The two exciting young left-handers – Nicholas Pooran and Shimron Hetmyer – although struggling with their timing, refused to be bogged down and kept up a good rate of scoring. It required 64 balls to bring up the 50-run stand and by the half stage of the West Indies innings the total stood at 118-3 off 25 overs.
West Indies, it is to be said, did recover well after the loss of three wickets for 55 in the 13th over. The fourth wicket stand between Pooran (63 off 78 balls, 3 fours, I six) and Hetmeyer (39 off 48 balls, 4 fours) produced 89 runs in 16.3 overs. By the 30th over, West Indies 144-3, was aiming for 250 plus but England hit back through Joe Root’s gentle part-time spin, claiming Hetmeyer and Jason Holder, both caught and bowled.
Jofra Archer’s return made life tough for the lower order West Indies, as its last seven wickets tumbled for just 58 runs, to be all out for 212 in 44.4 overs. The two fast bowlers - Archer (3-30) and Mark Wood (3-18) – did most of the damage and West Indies missed out on at least 25-30 runs by not batting out fifty overs of the innings.
England - Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan(c), Jos Buttler(wk), Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett, Jofra Archer, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood
West Indies - Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope(wk), Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder(c), Andre Russell, Carlos Brathwaite, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas, Shannon Gabriel
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