Root, Archer topple West Indies

Joe Root hit a century opening the batting and Barbados-born Jofra Archer took three wickets in his first game against West Indies as injury-hit England made it three wins from four at the World Cup with an eventful eight-wicket victory in Southampton.


Root (100no off 94 balls) was elevated from his usual No 3 spot after Jason Roy tweaked his hamstring while fielding and went on to score his second hundred of the tournament, after his 107 in the defeat to Pakistan, as England reached their target of 213 with 101 deliveries to spare.

Root is only the second England batsman to notch two tons in the same World Cup after Kevin Pietersen, who reached three figures against Australia and West Indies in the Caribbean in 2007.

England had dropped Chris Gayle and Andre Russell early in their innings but the big-hitters went on to make only 36 and 21 respectively as West Indies limped to 212 all out, with Nicholas Pooran (63) the standout.

Archer (3-30) picked up his third three-wicket haul of the competition and was on a hat-trick when he removed Pooran and Sheldon Cottrell from successive deliveries, while Mark Wood (3-18) also struck three times.

Root was a force with the ball, too, catching Shimron Hetmyer and Jason Holder off his own bowling as the two-time winners – who have now lost six World Cup matches in a row against England – tumbled from 144-3.

England saw skipper Morgan (back spasm) and in-form batsman Roy limp off during West Indies’ innings but their re-jigged batting order encountered few alarms in a routine chase.

Root put on 95 with opening partner Jonny Bairstow (45) and 104 with Chris Woakes (40), who was promoted from No 7 to No 3, before guiding his side home alongside Ben Stokes (10no off 6) as England moved second in the table, above Australia on net run rate, with West Indies down in sixth sport with one victory from four fixtures.

England fans must have feared the worst when Wood – who had been passed fit to play after undergoing tests on his ankle – spilled Gayle at third man on 15 off the bowling of Woakes.

But the Jamaican, who was made to hop around by Archer, added only 21 more runs his tally before he attacked a short ball from Liam Plunkett and was caught on the deep square leg boundary by Bairstow.

Gayle left the field with a new record, though, overtaking Sir Vivian Richards as the leading run-scorer in ODIs between the sides, with his 1,632 in 34 knocks topping the ‘Master Blaster’s’ 1,619 in the same number of innings.

Plunkett’s dismissal of the ‘Universe Boss’ ended a 50-run, second-wicket partnership with Shai Hope, who was on his way two balls later for a scratchy 11 from 30 deliveries as he was pinned lbw by Wood on review.

West Indies were 55-3 at that point – Woakes having yorked Evin Lewis (2) in the third over – only for Pooran and Shimron Hetmyer (39) to rebuild with a stand of 89 from 99 deliveries.

Root was the unlikely partnership breaker when he pouched Hetmyer’s tame drive and then also caught and bowled Holder in his follow-up over, Holder dismissed off a leading edge playing for non-existent turn.

Woakes spilled Russell at deep midwicket off Adil Rashid on three but atoned two overs later in the same spot as the all-rounder attacked Wood – Russell launching two sixes between the drop and the dismissal.

Archer then accounted for Pooran – the left-hander given out on review with UltraEdge showing he snicked the ball while looking to leave – Cottrell and Carlos Brathwaite (14), before Wood cleaned up last man Shannon Gabriel (0), West Indies all out in 44 overs.

England eased through their run chase, though Bairstow endured a scary moment when he was smashed on the grille by a delivery from Russell – Bairstow was fit to continue but Russell, who had returned for West Indies after missing Monday’s washout against South Africa with a knee issue, had to be helped from the field after falling in his follow through.

Bairstow was caught off Gabriel five runs shy of fifty but Yorkshire team-mate Root pressed on, scoring his 16th ODI hundred from 93 deliveries and overtaking Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan as the leading run-scorer in this World Cup – Gabriel’s dismissal of Woakes late was the only other moment of joy for West Indies.

You can watch every match of the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup on Sky Sports Cricket World Cup (channel 404), including England’s next game against Afghanistan from 10am on Tuesday.

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