England secured a comfortable eight-wicket victory over the West Indies in the World Cup, with Joe Root shining for the tournament hosts. West Indies were put in to bat first and the devastating pace attack of Jofra Archer and Mark Wood – who took three wickets apiece – helped dismiss Jason Holder’s men for 212, with England barely getting out of second gear to chase down the target.
Opener and talisman Chris Gayle fell for 36 with only Nicholas Pooran coming away with any credit after scoring 63, with the Windies all out in 44.4 overs. Hamstring and back injuries suffered by Jason Roy and Eoin Morgan respectively were obvious downsides for England but the World Cup favourites made light of the issues in their run chase. Joe Root stepped in as opener and showed his true class in scoring an undefeated century, ably supported by Jonny Bairstow (45) and Chris Woakes (40) – thrust in at number three.
The victory has seen England climb up to second in the standings, a point behind leaders New Zealand, and expected wins over Afghanistan on Tuesday and Sri Lanka on Friday could put them on the brink of the final four, ahead of much trickier fixtures against Australia, India and the Black Caps. West Indies play Bangladesh on Monday knowing a defeat would put them in serious danger of elimination.