Jonny soothes England woes
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