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ICC World Cup 2019 | Root Stars With Bat & Ball as England Crush West Indies

England cruised to a comfortable eight wicket win against West Indies in their fourth match of the ICC World Cup 2019 and moved up to second place in the points table.

Cricketnext Staff |June 15, 2019, 3:41 AM IST
Joe Root in action against West Indies. (ICC)

England cruised to a comfortable eight wicket win against West Indies in their fourth match of the ICC World Cup 2019 and moved up to second place in the points table.

Winning the toss and opting to bowl first, England made full use of the conditions as Jofra Archer and Mark Wood dismantled the West Indies batting order with their pace. But it was Chris Woakes who started procession, as he dismissed Evin Lewis for two runs with an unerring yorker.

It looked like West Indies were handed a reprieve when Wood dropped the dangerous Gayle while he was batting on 15, but he could add only 21 runs more before he was eventually dismissed, caught at deep-square leg off a Liam Plunkett short delivery.

Things were going well for England in the field, but they received a setback when Jason Roy injured his hamstring while fielding, forcing him off the field and being replaced by James Vince.

Meanwhile, Nicholas Pooran and Shimron Hetmyer attempted to claw West Indies back into the match, and they were successful to an extent as they put on 89 runs, getting together in the middle of the crease after the dismissal of Shai Hope for 11 runs.

England turned to an unlikely source in Joe Root to break the partnership and provide wickets, and the ploy worked as England’s batting talisman delivered with the ball this time, getting the wickets of Hetmyer and the next batsman Jason Holder in quick succession.

In walked Andre Russell, and he provided the innings with some much-needed momentum as he proceeded to hit two sixes off the bowling of Adil Rashid. Pooran too brought up his fifty in the mean time as West Indies sought to stabilize their innings again

But Wood’s short bowling did the trick again, this time Russell falling for it, hitting the ball straight to Chris Woakes at deep mid-wicket.

It then didn’t take long for Jofra Archer (3/30) and Chris Wood (3/18) to mop up the tail, as West Indies were all out for 212 in just 44.4 overs.

In reply, England were never truly tested. In the absence of opener Jason Roy, it was Root who opened the innings with Jonny Bairstow, and played an innings which would see him carry his bat through the innings.

To start with, both openers played sensible cricket, and punished West Indies’ length balls to the boundary. Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas and Shannon Gabriel were largely ineffective, on a pitch where the ball was coming on to the bat nicely and helping the batsmen.

The pair put on 95 runs for the first wicket, when West Indies finally got their first breakthrough in the innings, Bairstow caught by Carlos Brathwaite off the bowling of Shannon Gabriel.

Much to everyone’s surprise, it was Chris Woakes who walked in to bat at number three, promoted up the order. He played a perfect foil to Root through his innings, holding up the other end while his partner put on a batting masterclass.

West Indies turned to Chris Gayle in the middle to shake things up, but that did not have much of an impact either. The England batsmen played him out, and yielded 22 runs off his 5 overs.

Unfortunately for Woakes, he couldn’t get to his half century as he fell to a good catch taken in the deep by substitute Fabian Allen, off the bowling of Shannon Gabriel.

England ambled along, and Root brought up his century in the 32nd over of the innings – his second in this World Cup – much to the delight of the gathered Southampton crowd, entertained by his 11 boundaries.

It was Ben Stokes who hit the winning runs for England in the 34th over, off the bowling of Jason Holder, giving the home side a comfortable victory.

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2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 4366 104
5 Australia 3270 99
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2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
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2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4720 262
4 India 8620 261
5 Australia 5471 261
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