Jason Roy and Joe Root's centuries helped England chase down 361 against West Indies in Barbados. (Image credit: ICC Twitter)
The West Indies vs England ODI in Barbados was a record-breaking match. A total of 23 sixes were hit in the West Indies innings, which is the most by a team in an ODI. Chris Gayle made a dramatic return to ODIs by slamming his 24th century as West Indies made 360/8. His knock included just three fours but 12 sixes, which is the joint-ninth most by any batsmen in ODIs. However, West Indies could not defend 360 as England coasted to the target with eight balls to spare as they took a 1-0 lead in the series with a six-wicket win.
Responding to West Indies’ mammoth total, Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow started off in grand style as they registered a 91-run stand in just 10.5 overs. Roy reached his fifty off just 30 balls but Bairstow fell for 34. However, Roy was joined by Joe Root and the duo continued to maintain the momentum.
Roy was dropped by Oshane Thomas off Jason Holder on 75 and he made the West Indies pay by slamming a brilliant century off just 65 balls. The right-hander notched it up in style by whacking Ashley Nurse down the ground for a six as he punished the West Indies. Roy benefited from two further drops from Nicholas Pooran and Darren Bravo but the 114-run stand was finally broken when Roy holed out to Bravo at short third man off Devendra Bishoo to fall for 123.
Root continued to hang in and he was also at the receiving end of a lifeline with Ashley Nurse dropping him off Thomas on 47. The Yorkshire batsman notched up his 30th fifty and also went past 5000 runs but he benefited from yet another dropped catch from Nurse. Root and skipper Eoin Morgan tore into the West Indies bowling, with Morgan hammering two fours and a six off Bishoo. Morgan fell for an aggressive 65 and Root notched up his 14th ODI ton as England coasted to a win.
The chase of 361 by England was the third-highest successful chase in ODIs, behind South Africa’s two efforts against Australia in 2006 Johannesburg and 2016 Durban. In the Johannesburg ODI in 2006, Australia notched up 434/4 thanks to Ricky Ponting’s brilliant 164 but Herschelle Gibbs’ brilliant 175 and Graeme Smith’s 90 resulted in a miracle, with South Africa chasing down Australia’s score to win by one wicket.
10 years later, South Africa squared off against Australia in Durban. Australia were boosted by centuries from Steve Smith (108) and David Warner (117) as they reached 371/6. However, David Miller’s brilliant 118 off 79 balls and Andile Phehlukwayo’s 42 helped South Africa chase down yet another big total. The Proteas went on to inflict a first 5-0 whitewash on Australia in ODIs.
England will square off against the West Indies in Barbados in the second ODI on February 22.