Joe Root's all-round performance helped England cruise to a comfortable eight wicket win against West Indies at Southampton.
Joe Root was at his majestic best as he took two key wickets with the ball and then scored a century to help a rampant England side win by eight wickets against a spirited Windies team at Southampton on Friday.
Batting first, the Windies lost Evin Lewis when the score was just on four. Chris Gayle and Shai Hope then tried to rebuild before Gayle fell to a Liam Plunkett short ball in the thirteenth over after scoring 36. Hope was dismissed in the next over by Mark Wood and England were once again on the ascendency with Windies reeling at 55/3.
Nicholas Pooran and Shimron Hetmyer then came in and forged am 89-run partnership to take the score to 144 as they took on the spin of Adil Rashid very well. But England captain Eoin Morgan made an excellent move when he brought in part-time off-spinner Joe Root and he took the wicket of Hetmyer before dismissing Windies captain Jason Holder in his next over.
Andre Russell tried to take the attack to the English bowlers but he too was dismissed cheaply after scoring 21 off a Wood bouncer. Jofra Archer was brought back to the attack and he then took the key wicket of Pooran, who top scored with 63 to ensure that any chance of posting a challenging total was removed and the Windies were eventually all-out for 212 in 44.4 overs.
In reply, England opened with Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root as Jason Roy picked up an injury while fielding and they got England off to a solid start. Root took on the fast bowling playing some delightful cover drives against Sheldon Cottrell and Oshane Thomas while Bairstow also punished anything overpitched.
They raced to 95 before Shannon Gabriel finally managed a breakthrough in the fifteenth over when he took the wicket of Bairstow, who scored 45. With captain Eoin Morgan also picking up an injury while fielding, Chris Woakes was promoted up the order and he kept things steady as Root kept on playing his array of drives and pulls.
England were racing away towards the total but Windies finally managed another wicket with the score on 199 when Gabriel had his second wicket by dismissing Woakes (40). Root then reached his century off 94 balls with 11 boundaries before Ben Stokes scored the winning runs in the first ball of the 34th over.
This win helps the hosts England to second position with six points from four games, just a point behind New Zealand. Australia are also on six points but move down to third with a lower net run rate.
For the Windies, they remain sixth with three points from four games, and are just ahead of Bangladesh who also have the same number of points but with a worse net run rate. These two teams clash on Monday and it will be a crucial match in the race to the top four.
The century now means Joe Root is the top run-scorer in the World Cup with 279 runs from four games, overtaking Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan who has 260 runs from three games.
Jofra Archer’s three wickets propels him to second in the list of most wicket-takers with nine wickets. Mohammad Amir still tops the list with ten wickets from just three games. Australia’s Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc are third and fourth on the list with nine wickets as well, but with slightly worse averages.