England canters to nine-wicket win over West Indies at Southampton
Jonny Bairstow notched up his second century of the one-day series to see England canter to a nine-wicket win over West Indies in the final game played at The Rose Bowl, Southampton. The hosts produced an emphatic performance to cap off their amazing home season that saw them win pull off series victories over South Africa and West Indies earlier this summer.
England started the off chase in a brisk manner as Bairstow and Roy smashed boundaries at will during the Power play overs. Roy made full use of opportunity offered to him after Alex Hales was suspended by ECB for altercation involving him and Ben Stokes in a bar at Bristol. Roy looked in ominous as he slashed hard at anything loose offered to him by West Indies pace bowlers. The visitors bowled poorly as they erred in their lengths to see England go at more than five runs an over.
The opening pair of Bairstow and Roy once again lay an ideal foundation as they added 156 runs in just 20 overs. Roy fell four runs short of a century as Miguel Cummins trapped him right in front to see England lose their first wicket. One thing is for sure that competition for the opening slot is surely heating up after Roy’s impressive returns in the last games of the one-day series. Joe Root came to the crease and played a sensible innings while Bairstow continued to play his strokes. The pair rotated the strike well and put the West Indies fielders under pressure by taking quick ones and twos in the middle overs of the innings.
Bairstow smashed a delivery straight down the ground to move into 90s. He smashed a boundary and then picked up a single to celebrate his second century of his one-day career. The Yorkshire-born player has looked in imperious form across all three formats since last one year and absolutely is at his peak with the bat. Bairstow remained unbeaten on 141 runs to see England chase down the runs in the 38th over of the innings. He smashed 17 boundaries in his innings and added unbeaten 138 runs with Root to see England clinch five-match series by 4-0.
West Indies batted first as Eoin Morgan won the toss and elected to field first. Chris Gayle looked in aggressive intent from the word go as he scored a quick-fire 40 runs off 28 balls. The left handed batsman was particularly aggressive against Jake Ball who looked clueless at times in the first 10 overs. Debutant Tom Curran outfoxed Gayle with a slower delivery to see the player walk back to the pavilion much the applause of the crowd at Rose Bowl.
Kyle Hope played well for his 33 runs but Liam Plunkett dismissed him as the batsman hit one straight back to the bowler to see West Indies lose their second wicket in the 14th over. Shai Hope continued to impress as he held the innings together while Marlon Samuels looked in woeful touch with the bat.
Samuel’s troubles in limited overs cricket could signal the end of his career as batsman has not produced any sort of runs to remain the part of the side. He looked out of sorts as run-rate began to take a dip. Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid bowled well under the circumstances to concede only 78 runs in 20 overs. Ali finally dismissed Samuels to see West Indies placed at 143 for 4 after 31.3 overs.
Shai once again batted well and showed determination to produce a crucial half century. He shifted gears to produce more boundaries. He scored 72 runs off 95 balls and got dismissed in 43rd over of the innings. West Indies innings was provided impetus by the likes of Sunil Ambris and Ashley who produced quick-fire cameos to see the side add 67 runs in the last six overs. The visitors ended up with 288 runs on the board from their 50 overs.
Jonny Bairstow was named man of the match for his blistering 141* scored against West Indies while Moeen Ali was adjudged man of the series for his superlative performances throughout the series.