CRICVIZ MATCH REPORT - LACKLUSTRE DEFEAT FOR WEST INDIES V ENGLAND
The West Indies fell to a heavy defeat in Southampton, as Eoin Morgan's England beat them by a comfortably margin of nine wickets. The West Indies had been skittled for just 212 in the morning, and England - masterminded by a Joe Root century - never looked like failing in the chase.
Things started well for England, as some early swing from Chris Woakes did for Evin Lewis. The Englishman was on form - he found an average of 0.7 degrees swing, a figure he's beaten only once in the last 12 months. The ball which dismissed Lewis was the fullest he'd bowled by that point in the innings.
Chris Gayle was dropped by Mark Wood of Woakes' bowling as well, as the veteran opener swung the bat, eventually falling to a Liam Plunkett short ball.
Shimron Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran formed the most substantial and compelling partnership for the West Indies, as the two youngsters threatened to put a competitive score on the board. They attacked 57% and 53% of their deliveries, the most of any West Indies batsmen, and were able to put some pressure on the English attack, but the part-time bowling of Root was enough to dislodge Hetmyer, and the collapse continued from there. Jofra Archer struck twice in two balls, removing Brathwaite with a short ball then Sheldon Cottrell with the fastest ball of the day, a searing 152kph.
In reply, a makeshift opening partnership of Jonny Bairstow and Root set about breaking the back of the chase. England raced to 62-0 off the first 10 overs, a period where they attacked 48% of deliveries - the Yorkshire pairing were not going to mess about.
West Indies' bowling was surprisingly poor, however, as they consistently misjudged the pitch. Just 11% of their new ball bowling was on a good length, compared to England's 37%. It was a surface where you needed to build pressure rather than try to blast the opposition away, and the refusal of Holder's attack to get this was a problem.
Whilst Bairstow was getting stuck into the bowling, Root was the backbone of what turned into an easy chase. Root has been elite ODI player for some time now, and the amount of control he's shown is remarkable. Just 9.3% of his shots since the Champions Trophy in 2017 have been edges or misses - the same figure as Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson. His century was reached just before the end of the chase, the match-defining contribution.
West Indies next game against Bangladesh in Taunton is now effectively must win for the Men in Maroon, if they wish to qualify for the semi-finals.