Bridgetown: Contrasting centuries by Jason Roy (123, 85b, 15×4, 3×6) and Joe Root (102, 97b, 9×4) paced England to a comfortable six-wicket victory over the West Indies with their record ODI run chase in a high-scoring opening game of a five-match series here Wednesday.
Set what looked a daunting target after Chris Gayle’s (135, 129b, 3×4, 12×6) 24th ODI hundred anchored the home side to 360/8, Roy blazed at the top of the order while Root cruised to a comparatively sedate century to help the tourists reach their target with eight balls to spare.
Roy set the pace and dominated an opening stand of 91 with Jonny Bairstow (34). He maintained the charge through a 114-run second-wicket partnership with Root and by the time he fell in the 27th over to Devendra Bishoo (1/78), England were well on course.
Root put on 116 for the third wicket in 16 overs with Eoin Morgan (65, 51b, 4×4, 3×6) and although the ODI skipper departed to fast bowler Oshane Thomas (1/72) with victory in sight, there would be no serious alarms for England on the way to victory, although Root fell with the scores level attempting the winning hit off West Indies captain Jason Holder (2/63).
Earlier, Gayle lit up the Kensington Oval with another display of power-hitting. His tally of maximums dominated an innings in which 23 sixes were struck, a new record for an ODI innings. Ben Stokes (3/37) returned the best figures including the important wicket of Gayle.
Brief scores: West Indies 360 (Chris Gayle 135; Ben Stokes 3/37) lost to England 364/4 (Jason Roy 123, Joe Root 102; Jason Holder 2/63) by six wickets.