Bairstow blows Windies away with an­other ton at the top of the or­der

Bairstow hits sec­ond ton as opener for Eng­land to se­cure 4-0 se­ries win

Sport360 - - Front Page - By David Clough @DavidBClough

Jonny Bairstow bagged his sec­ond ton of the five-match ODI se­ries as Eng­land set aside con­tro­ver­sial dis­trac­tions to end their long­est sum­mer with a nine-wicket win and 4-0 clean sweep over the West Indies.

Eoin Mor­gan’s men could per­haps have been for­given for trudg­ing to the fin­ish line af­ter the ar­rest of Ben Stokes on sus­pi­cion of caus­ing ac­tual bod­ily harm, and his and Alex Hales’ sub­se­quent sus­pen­sion from in­ter­na­tional fixtures un­til fur­ther no­tice.

But Eng­land lim­ited the tourists to 288-6 de­spite Shai Hope’s 72 and then – un­der­pinned by Bairstow’s 90-ball cen­tury, and 96 from open­ing part­ner Ja­son Roy – chased with unerring ease and 12 overs to spare.

A sec­ond suc­ces­sive cen­tury open­ing stand put them on track, Roy miss­ing his hun­dred for the sec­ond time in three days since re­turn­ing in place of Hales and Bairstow (141 not out) then com­plet­ing the job with Eng­land’s high­est in­di­vid­ual score against the Windies. Eng­land’s Test wick­et­keeper has there­fore made an ad­mirable start to his new vo­ca­tion as 50-over opener, hav­ing hit his sec­ond ton al­ready in only five in­nings so far.

His op­po­site number Chris Gayle had ear­lier taken 15 balls to regis­ter his first run, a sin­gle to cover off Jake Ball, af­ter the Windies were put in. But the ‘Uni­verse Boss’ then launched a re­mark­able se­quence of hit­ting off the same bowler, reg­is­ter­ing 6-6-6-6-4-6 from suc­ces­sive de­liv­er­ies spread over two overs.

Eng­land needed to get him quickly, and Tom Cur­ran had the an­swer with a bril­liantly-dis­guised backof-the-hand slower ball that saw the bats­man sky the ball to Liam Plun­kett who took an ath­letic catch run­ning back from mid-off.

Plun­kett dou­bled up with an­other out­stand­ing catch, this time off his own bowl­ing, as he got down low to hold a Kyle Hope straight-drive with his left hand.

A cu­ri­ously un­pro­duc­tive part­ner­ship fol­lowed be­tween Shai Hope and Mar­lon Sa­muels in which they man­aged a soli­tary bound­ary be­tween them from 122 de­liv­er­ies.

There was no pay-off from Sa­muels ei­ther, stumped on the charge at Moeen Ali.

But Hope cashed in on two lives, dropped on 32 and 61 by Mor­gan and then Root. He fi­nally hit his first four from his 78th ball and duly made it three in three be­fore even­tu­ally hol­ing out on the cover bound­ary off Ball.

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