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Gayle’s century in vain as Roy, Root hit tons

SAMAA | - Posted: Feb 21, 2019 | Last Updated: 1 year ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Feb 21, 2019 | Last Updated: 1 year ago
Gayle’s century in vain as Roy, Root hit tons

England have taken the lead in the five-match series

Photo: AFP

Centuries by Jason Roy and Joe Root paced England to a comfortable six-wicket victory over the West Indies with their record ODI run chase in the opening game of a five-match series in Barbados on Wednesday.

West Indies set what looked a daunting target after Chris Gayle’s 24th ODI hundred anchored the home side to 360-8. In repsonse, Roy blazed 123 off 85 balls at the top of the order while Root cruised to a comparatively sedate 102 off 97 deliveries to help the tourists reach their target with eight balls to spare.

In achieving the highest-ever ODI run chase in the Caribbean and the third-highest overall, England underlined their status as the top-ranked team in this format of the game and will be brimful of batting confidence heading into the second match at the same venue on Friday.

Fresh from a hundred in the lone warm-up match at the weekend, Roy was at his most ruthless against the hosts who missed key fast bowler Kemar Roach.

Roy set the pace in racing to a hundred off just 65 balls — the fastest-ever in ODIs in the Caribbean — and dominated an opening stand of 91 with Jonny Bairstow.

He maintained the charge through a 114-run second-wicket partnership with Root and by the time he fell in the 27th over to leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo, England were well on course.

Root put on 116 for the third wicket in 16 overs with Eoin Morgan and although the ODI skipper departed to fast bowler Oshane Thomas with victory in sight, there would be no serious alarms for England on their way to the win.

“I was particularly happy with the calm way we went about all aspects of this match,” Morgan said.

“Our bowlers did very well at the end of the West Indies innings when it looked as if they would get up to 380, and when we batted, you really can’t look past that start we got. It made the job so much easier.”

Gayle delights home crowd

Earlier, Gayle lit up the Kensington Oval with another display of power-hitting.

Playing his first ODI since the home series against Bangladesh last July and having announced that the upcoming World Cup will be his international farewell in the format, the big-hitting left-hander signalled his intentions for a lengthy grand finale with an innings of 135 off 129 balls, hitting 12 sixes and three fours.

His tally of maximums dominated an innings in which 23 sixes were struck, a new record for an ODI innings.

Despite conceding 34 runs off his final two overs, leg-spinner Rashid played an important role together with Stokes in limiting the West Indies progress over the final 15 overs.

England paid dearly for Roy dropping Gayle at point off seamer Liam Plunkett when the former West Indies captain was on just nine.

“We made life very difficult for ourselves, and especially our bowlers, by missing too many chances,” said Holder. “You can’t give quality players so many opportunities and expect to be competing at the end.”

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