Super Root guides injury-hit England to emphatic World Cup win over West Indies

By John Skilbeck 15 June 2019 217
Super Root guides injury-hit England to emphatic World Cup win over West Indies

Test skipper Joe Root powered England to a crushing World Cup victory over West Indies to soothe the pain of stricken one-day captain Eoin Morgan.

The Yorkshireman took two key middle-order wickets at the Rose Bowl with his teasing off-spin before adding 100 not out with the bat as an emergency opener to set up an eight-wicket win. He becomes the first Englishman to make three World Cup centuries and is the highest run-scorer in this year's tournament to date.

Root was bumped up the order after an injury sustained by Jason Roy, who joined Morgan in being treated while England set about chasing down West Indies' below-par 212 all out, in which Mark Wood and Barbados-born Jofra Archer both took three wickets.

The clear blemishes on England's day were the injuries to Roy, who was forced off in the eighth over of the West Indies innings with a hamstring problem, and Morgan, who was grimacing after his back spasmed in the field.

England have now won their last six World Cup duels with West Indies, whose only triumph came in the most important match these two have contested in the event's history - the 1979 final at Lord's.

West Indies had hoped for fireworks from Chris Gayle after being put in by England, but he and the rest of the batting line-up struggled as the hosts made good use of favourable bowling conditions.

Gayle, dropped by Wood, could not cash in on his second chance as he fell for 36 and Nicholas Pooran's 63 represented the best effort among the Windies' batsmen as Wood and Archer impressed with genuine pace.

England set about their run chase with relish, Jonny Bairstow (45) and Root combining for a serene stand of 95 before the former guided Shannon Gabriel down to the third-man boundary.

With Morgan seemingly unable to bat, Chris Woakes was promoted to three and he did not look out of place in making 40 as he and Root took England to the brink before Ben Stokes completed the job with 101 balls remaining.

To make matters worse for West Indies, all-rounder Andre Russell suffered an injury and left the field in England's reply, defeat stinging for a team whose trophy aspirations took a major jolt.

 

What does it mean? England rained on the Windies parade

After so many weather-enforced call-offs, it was a relief to see an uninterrupted day of World Cup cricket, and England made the most of it in Southampton. The much-vaunted West Indies attack failed to get its claws into the home side, blunted by defiance and no little fine shot-making from the excellent Root. Archer, Wood and Woakes performed well with the ball too, and it was always going to be England's day once Root's occasional spin began to look unplayable.

The Root cause

As Morgan received treatment, Root showed all his leadership qualities with an innings of impressive character. His 16th ODI century was a masterpiece and West Indies detected no weaknesses. More of this over the next month and the future looks very bright for England.

About Author

John Skilbeck

Comment