England dominated the games against West Indies from ball one (Image Credit: Twitter)
New Delhi :
Joe Root's all around performance along with Mark Wood and Jofra Archer's three-wicket haul each helped England to hammer West Indies in the most obnoxious manner possible at the Oval in London. The host came into the game with set plans and were able to execute them perfectly as they managed to sway away from the Caribbean juggernaut to gather another crucial two points. Some injury concerns kept muddling around, but nothing came between England and all-important win.
Windies got off to the worst possible start, with Chris Woakes beautifully setting up the wicket of Evin Lewis. He followed up a bunch of short deliveries with a fast and full one, which caught Lewis off-guard and rattled his stumps. Chris Gayle began to take on the fast bowlers after seeing off the first few overs, but his partnership with Shai Hope never looked promising.
Both these batsmen fell in a span of three deliveries, which brought in youngsters Nicholas Pooran and Shimron Hetmyer together. Both of them had to struggle courtesy some outstanding fast bowling from Mark Wood and Liam Plunkett in the middle overs, but they did get the odd boundaries and added 89 runs for the fourth wicket.
Just when Hetmyer was looking good and approaching his fifty, Joe Root was handed the ball and he dismissed the southpaw almost instantly. Root chipped in with another wicket of Jason Holder and did more than what his captain wanted from him. Nicholas Pooran completed his half-century, but his promising knock came toan end with Jofra Archer cramping him with a short delivery, which took the outside edge and went straight to the keeper.
Their tail tried to survive the wrath of Mark Wood and Jofra Archer, but there was obviously going to be one winner. The English managed to bowl their opponents out for 212 runs, with Mark Wood and Archer picking three wickets each.
Hosts sail through despite injury scares Eoin Morgan and Jason Roy left the field midway through the first innings, which meant Joe Root had to open the innings alongside Jonny Bairstow. It barely changed anything for the hot-favourites, who smashed their new ball bowlers in the powerplay overs and gave themselves a fabulous start.
Jonny Bairstow was found a little too wanting and audacious when he tried to uppercut Shannon Gabriel despite knowing there was a third-man fielder. He was caught there by Carlos Brathwaite, which put an end to a swashbuckling 95-run stand. Chris Woakes was surprisingly sent at number three and another one of these experiments turned into gold dust for Morgan.
Woakes came along beautifully and spent some much needed time in the middle. During their partnership, the scoring rate came down a little bit but they kept going strong. Their partnership accounted for 104 runs and came to end with Shannon Gabriel dismissing him for a beautifully compiled 54-ball 40.
The English Test skipper batted beautifully nevertheless to register his second century of the tournament and the remaining runs were a mere formality. This win pushed England to the second position and are looking firmly in contention to book their semifinal berth well in advance.