Cricket

Hales, Root hit tons as England make 328

2017-03-09 19:50
Joe Root (Getty)

Bridgetown - Centuries by Alex Hales and Joe Root highlighted another dominant batting effort by England in posting a formidable 328 all out against the West Indies in the third and final one-day international at Kensington Oval on Thursday.

Sidelined for almost two months by a hand injury sustained in India, Hales belted 110 on his return to national colours while Root followed up his assured match-winning 90 not out in the second ODI in Antigua with 101.

Their second-wicket partnership was worth 192 runs, the most for any wicket in a one-dayer at the venue.

Seeking to avoid a whitewash in the series and desperately needing rankings points to earn automatic qualification for the 2019 World Cup, the West Indies hardly assisted their cause by extending the epidemic of dropped catches that afflicted them in the first two matches in Antigua.

Root was missed twice early in his innings, the first lapse by Evin Lewis at midwicket off fast bowler Alzarri Joseph being the easier of the two.

Lewis had to leave the field shortly after with a left wrist injury after he fell heavily when attempting to make a save on the boundary.

Joseph, the 20-year-old Antiguan pacer who replaced injured fellow fast bowler Shannon Gabriel, claimed four expensive wickets but looked the most threatening after West Indies captain Jason Holder won the toss for the third consecutive time and chose to put England in.

He accounted for the attacking Jason Roy in just the sixth over and should have had more early success but for Lewis' costly error.

He came back for an effective second spell though and together with Holder, slowed England's breakneck progress to what looked like being a total well in excess of 350. Holder claimed three for 41 off his ten overs.

Hales hoisted five sixes and stroked nine fours in his 107-ball innings, although it was his dismissal in the 37th over off Joseph which resulted in the change of pace.

Root was not as composed or fluent as four days earlier but his knock, which came off 108 balls and was decorated by ten fours, underscored his status as one of the best batsmen in the contemporary game.

As expected, Hales was the only change to the England team from the first two matches, replacing Sam Billings at the top of the order with the visitors playing their strongest available squad as they seek to maintain a winning momentum heading into the Champions Trophy at home in June.

England's last sweep of an ODI series against the West Indies was at home in 1991 when they took a similar rubber 3-0.

Read more on:    england  |  west indies  |  joe root  |  alex hales  |  cricket
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