Southampton [UK], June 14 (ANI): Joe Root's ton helped England thrash West Indies by eight wickets in their clash at the ongoing ICC Men's Cricket World Cup at Rose Bowl Cricket Ground here on Friday.
Chasing a modest total of 213 runs, England got off to a brilliant start as both the openers, Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root, struck regular boundaries.
Both kept the scoreboard running and stitched a 95-run partnership before Shannon Gabriel provided West Indies with their first breakthrough in the name of Bairstow (45) in the 15th over.
Chris Woakes then came out to bat and joined Root on the field. Both played some scintillating knocks and proved too good for the Windies as no bowler managed to restrict them from scoring. Root scored his half-century and along with Woakes, added 104 runs on the board.
The second breakthrough to West Indies was also provided by Gabriel, who got hold of Woakes (40) in the 32nd over. However, the match had already slipped away from West Indies' hands as England needed just 14 runs from 109 deliveries.
Ben Stokes then accompanied Root and both took their side over the line to register a massive eight-wicket victory. Root displayed an astounding performance as he played an unbeaten knock of 100 runs off 94 balls.
Earlier, West Indies were sent to bat first after England won the toss. West Indies' Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis opened the inning for the team but had a bad start as Lewis (2) was bowled by Chris Woakes in the third over.
After the dismissal of Lewis, Shai Hope came out to bat at number three. Hope along with Gayle built a 50-run partnership before Gayle (36) was sent back to the pavilion by Liam Plunkett on a short ball which Gayle tried to hit for a six but lofted the ball in the hands of Jonny Bairstow.
Nicolas Pooran then walked into the field with Hope, however, they managed to add just one run to the scoreboard as the latter became a victim of pacer Mark Wood in the 14th over of the inning.
Hope was found in front of the wicket and England appealed for the leg-before-wicket (LBW) but umpire denied, Eoin Morgan instantly reviewed umpire's decision. The third umpire turned the decision in favour of England and consequently, Hope was given out.
After Hope's departure, Shimron Hetmyer took the field with Pooran. Both stitched a partnership of 89 runs for the fourth wicket. In the 30th over, part-timer Joe Root caught and bowled Hetmyer (39) which brought the team to 144-4.
Windies skipper Jason Holder came to bat but failed to leave a mark as he was sent back to the pavilion by Root in a similar manner as of Hetmyer in the 32nd over.
Destructive batter Andre Russell then took charge but failed to save the sinking West Indies side as he got out after scoring just 21 runs. Russell played a lofted shot on Wood's short ball but it was caught in deep midwicket by Woakes.
Carlos Brathwaite then joined Pooran and formed a 14-run partnership before the Pooran got out. Pooran played a knock of 63 runs and was the highest run-getter from the West Indies side.
Windies inning collapsed after Pooran's wicket as tailenders were not able to add many runs to the scoreboard. In the 45th over, England bowlers bowled West Indies all out when they had just 212 runs on the board.
England's Jason Roy, in the eighth over, went off the field due to a hamstring strain and did not come to field for the rest of the inning. England skipper also sustained a back spasm in the 40th over, due to which captaincy was handed over to Jos Buttler.
England will face Afghanistan on June 18 while West Indies will compete with Bangladesh on June 17.
Brief scores: England 213/2 (Joe Root 100, Jonny Bairstow 45, Shannon Gabriel 2-49) defeated West Indies 212/10 (Nicolas Pooran 63, Shimron Hetmyer 39, Mark Wood 3-18) by eight wickets. (ANI)