England beat West Indies by 7 wickets after a dominant batting display which saw them easily chase down 205 in 42 overs after a wet outfield delayed the start of play reduced the match from its original 50 allotted overs. Jonny Bairstow was the star of the show as he scored 100 from 97 balls.
The visitors were mediocre throughout and have deservedly missed out on their World Cup spot. Their loss means that Sri Lanka will hold on to the eighth ranking in ODIs until the deadline. They still have a series to win, and a weak performance in the first ODI only calls for a strong comeback in the second ODI.
Alex Hales, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (c), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wk), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett, David Willey, Jason Roy, Tom Curran, Jake Ball.
Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Marlon Samuels, Shai Hope (wk), Rovman Powell, Jason Mohammed, Jason Holder (c), Devendra Bishoo, Ashley Nurse, Jerome Taylor, Kesrick Williams, Sunil Ambris, Miguel Cummins, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Hope
Where the Teams Stand
The home side were disciplined in their bowling effort, taking wickets in pairs to cripple the West Indian batting and preventing them from building their innings. Ben Stokes was the pick of the bowlers, taking 3-43 in nine overs. Rashid and Woakes picked up two each, the former maintaining an impressive economy of 3.4 in nine overs.
If not for Holder, the Windies would have been in far worse position than what they found themselves in at the halfway mark. The English bowling looks very strong with Rashid consistently amongst the wickets, Stokes being brilliant as always, and the rest chipping in with good performances too as Willey and Ali picked up one wicket each.
Their batting, however, looked even stronger, after Bairstow’s maiden ODI hundred carried the English to victory. Morgan dropped Jason Roy and promote him to the opening slot, a masterstroke which paid off well for his team. Root contributed with a handy 54 while Stokes hit 23 off of 10 balls to ensure that England reached the target with 11 overs to spare.
Hales may have scored only 19 from 14 this time, but one can expect a lot more from him in the next match considering the form he has been in. Morgan is a slight concern after another failure from him saw only 10 runs come off his bat, but he is a batsman who performs when his team needs him the most. The home side has a deep batting lineup, with Woakes coming in at 8, giving Morgan amazing depth in his team considering he also has six bowlers to play with.
All the three changes made by England, bringing in Stokes, Ali and Woakes, have transformed the team into an exponentially stronger unit. I can’t imagine Morgan changing his combination for the next match after how successful they were in the first ODI. If his team continues playing like this, the Windies will have a hard time winning in England.
Only two batsmen in the entire lineup ended the innings with a strike rate over 100. Credit to England for stunting the run flow the way they did, but the Windies could not keep up out in the middle. Marlon Samuels scored 17 from 46 balls, intent on ensuring that the Windies don’t get to a respectable total.
This is an issue that has carried over from the Tests, where the batsmen try to settle in before playing their shots, only the latter half of the plan always fails in execution. As a top-order batsman, if your strike rate is below 40 after facing 46 balls, you’re probably not going to switch gears. This is especially worth noting because he failed to score a single boundary, the only one in the top seven to not hit a four or a six.
To add to Holder’s misery, the West Indian bowling was ordinary. The captain only bowled 3 overs out of 31, conceding 18 runs in his spell. Considering he is a frontline bowler for the Windies, and he opened the bowling in the first match, this is surprising. He absolutely needs to bowl more in the next match. Kesrick Williams was expensive, but he was the highest wicket-taker for the Windies. Jerome Taylor was perhaps the best bowler for them, ending with figures of 1-46 after 7 overs, one wicket less than Williams. Bishoo ended the match with an economy of 8 runs per over and could see himself replaced by Alzarri Joseph in the next match.
The Windies have two days to prepare for Trent Bridge, and they will need to improve their game if they wish to compete against the home side in this series and the next match. Their safest option is to bowl first if they win the toss and try to restrict the English to a low score. Their batting is stronger than their bowling despite what happened in the last match, and they might be up for a big chase.
Can England take a 2-0 lead, or will the West Indies bounce back? Let us know in the comments below.
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