Jonny soothes Eng­land woes

Daily Express - - SPORT -

Jonny Bairstow en­sured a season that started with a one-dayer against Ire­land at Bris­tol on May 5 ended well, on the field at least, as his sec­ond ODI hun­dred helped Eng­land cruise to their tar­get of 289 with 12 overs to spare.

With the head­lines cre­ated by Ben Stokes and Alex Hales this week, and the po­ten­tial dam­age caused to Eng­land’s Ashes prepa­ra­tions, this vic­tory is prob­a­bly scant con­so­la­tion.

But cap­tain Eoin Mor­gan said: “The most con­vinc­ing thing about the last cou­ple of days and the dis­trac­tions that have gone on was the win at The Oval on Wed­nes­day.

“Ev­ery­thing that hap­pened was quite fresh, ev­ery­body knew about it for a cou­ple of days so to pro­duce a per­for­mance like that in such a tight game meant a huge amount to the side.

“To­day had the po­ten­tial to be lethar­gic from our side of things but the de­ter­mi­na­tion and ruth­less­ness ev­ery­body showed was out­stand­ing. It’s been a long year and guys have played a lot of cricket so to pro­duce a per­for­mance like that was out­stand­ing.”

In Bairstow Eng­land have found a one-day opener who looks like he will be here to stay right up un­til the 2019 World Cup on home soil.

The York­shire­man had started this se­ries at Old Traf­ford 10 days pre­vi­ously with his first ODI hun­dred. So, it was apt he fin­ished it with an­other, his un­beaten knock of 141 becoming the high­est in­di­vid­ual Eng­land score in this for­mat against West Indies.

Joe Root, un­beaten on 46 at the end after shar­ing a 138-run stand with Bairstow, also de­serves credit. Ja­son Roy too. Eng­land never looked in dan­ger of throw­ing this one away once Roy got off to a flier.

The Sur­rey opener con­tin­ued his re­turn to form after com­ing back into the team for the sus­pended Hales and also looks set to re­main in the side for some time on the back of a dis­play that un­der­lined why Eng­land value him so highly.

Roy was su­perb in hit­ting 96 from 70 de­liv­er­ies, in­clud­ing 12 bound­aries, be­fore fall­ing short of his fourth ODI hun­dred when he was trapped lbw by Miguel Cum­mins. By then Eng­land were al­most out of sight on 156-1 in the 22nd over of their chase.

Bairstow was also strik­ing beautifully at the other end, reach­ing 50 in 48 balls shortly be­fore Roy’s de­par­ture. And along­side new part­ner Root, he con­tin­ued to dom­i­nate.

The West Indies in­nings was one largely from an­other age of one-day cricket, plod­ding along with flur­ries of ac­tiv­ity at ei­ther end. They were just 9-0 after four overs, Tom Cur­ran mak­ing an ex­cel­lent start on his ODI de­but.

But Chris Gayle took a sud­den lik­ing to Jake Ball and smashed five sixes in six balls off the Not­ting­hamshire bowler’s next two overs. By the time Gayle de­parted, West Indies were 52-1 in the eighth over. Eng­land’s bowlers were ex­cel­lent in stran­gling the scor­ing rate, Kyle Hope the next man to fall in the 15th over to a bril­liant caught and bowled by Liam Plun­kett.

Shai Hope signed off from a break­through tour across all for­mats with an­other in­nings of sub­stance, mak­ing 72, and late hit­ting from Ash­ley Nurse, with 31 from 12 balls, at least took the Windies total close to 300.

Yet it was never going to be enough against this Eng­land team.

JA­SON JOY: Roy was in com­mand­ing form last night as Eng­land cruised to an easy win to end their long season

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