The County Ground in Bristol witnessed another one-sided victory by England over Windies. First, the batsmen led the charge with a massive 369 on the board and then the bowlers backed up the good work and never allowed the opposition line-up to make a match out of it. A solid performance gave the hosts a lead of 2-0 in the series with 2 more games remaining in the series.
Jason Holder won the toss and opted to field on a surface tailor-made for batting. His decision seemed like proving right when he removed the centurion from the last game Jonny Bairstow in the 6th over for 13. But Alex Hales joined hands with Joe Root to punish the new ball bowlers and kept the scoring rate up.
Root-Stokes steadied the ship
Miguel Cummins then bagged the wicket of Hales and then the skipper Eoin Morgan was picked by Holder to leave the score at 74/3 in the 12th over. But those proved to be the only merry moments for the visitors for a while as Root now had Ben Stokes for a company and the duo simply ran away with the game.
Both got to their individual half-centuries and added 132 runs for the 4th wicket before Stokes was sent back by Rovman Powell in the 32nd over for 73. Jos Buttler too fell soon to Cummins for 2 and Root’s stay at the crease was ended by the same bowler. England was down to 217/6 in the 35th over and it felt as if the platform for a huge score was ruined.
Moeen Ali’s explosion
But Moeen Ali went ballistic from then on and knocked the bowlers to all parts of the ground. Chris Woakes played a handy knock of 34 but the show was stolen by Ali who scored 102 off just 57 balls that turned out to be the second fastest century by an Englishman in ODI cricket. Due to his supreme effort, England ended up with a massive 369/9 at the end of 50 overs.
Windies’ chase began with Evin Lewis falling cheaply for 13 courtesy David Willey. On the other hand, Chris Gayle looked in ominous touch. His big strokes were in full flow as the English bowlers took a beating. The score raced off to 73/1 after 10 overs as Gayle kept the hopes alive single-handedly.
Gayle’s lone hand
Shai Hope was sent back by Liam Plunkett for 20 in the 12th over but Gayle was unflustered as he continued the charge. The big man lost another partner in the form of Marlon Samuels as Plunkett claimed his 2nd scalp. Gayle carried on his usual demeanor even after getting past his half-century.
Finally, his attacking knock was ended and again courtesy a run-out. Adil Rashid’s throw found him short of the crease as he had to make the long walk back for 94 off 78 balls that included 9 fours and 6 sixes. The score reached 176/4 in the 27th over. With Gayle’s demise, the hopes for Windies also sunk as one by one, every batsman rushed back to the pavilion.
The leg-spinner Adil Rashid accounted for the wickets of Powell, Ashley Nurse and Jerome Taylor. Plunkett came back to dismiss Jason Mohammed, Devendra Bishoo and Jason Holder to complete a five-wicket haul. Windies was bowled out for 245 in the 40th over as England stamped their authority with a massive win by 124 runs to go 2-0 up with 2 more games to go in the series.
Windies won the toss and opted to bowl first
England: 369/9 in 50 overs
Moeen Ali 102, Joe Root 84
Miguel Cummins 82/3, Jason Holder 81/2
Windies: 245/10 in 39.1 overs
Chris Gayle 94, Jason Mohammed 38
Liam Plunkett 52/5, Adil Rashid 34/3
England won by 124 runs
Player of the Match: Moeen Ali