St. John's - Joe Root compiled a composed, unbeaten 90 while
all-rounder Chris Woakes hit an undefeated 68 as England completed a
four-wicket victory over the West Indies in the second one-day international on
Responding to the home side's total of 225 all out off 47.5
overs after they chose to bat first, the tourists reached 226 for six off 48.2
overs to take an unbeatable 2-0 lead with the final match to be played in
Barbados next Thursday.
England, who won the first match at the same venue two days
earlier by the relatively comfortable margin of 45 runs, were cantering towards
the target on the back of opening batsman Jason Roy's belligerent half-century
at 108 for two in the 21st over.
But then the specialist spinners got the West Indies back
into the match, triggering a slide which saw four England wickets tumbling for
Ashley Nurse returned his best-ever figures of three for 34
while Devendra Bishoo claimed two for 43.
However with fast bowler Shannon Gabriel unavailable after
an opening three-over spell because of a side strain, captain Jason Holder
resorted to part-time spinners on a helpful track without success.
Woakes, the more adventurous of the seventh-wicket pairing
in a stand that put on an unbroken 102 runs, was missed at long-on by
substitute fielder Rovman Powell off Carlos Brathwaite in what was the West
Indies' last real chance of staying in the game and squaring the series.
He was dropped again, by Holder at mid-off off Kraigg
Brathwaite in the 47th over, by which time England were on the verge of
Root struck just three boundaries in a controlled innings,
his only blemish being an edge off Bishoo between the wicketkeeper and slip.
"It was just about staying calm because we were so far
ahead of the required rate," he explained after victory was formalised.
"Chris (Woakes) took a lot of the pressure off me with his
Fresh from claiming career-best ODI figures (4 for 40) in
the first match, seamer Liam Plunkett played a key role in stifling West
Indies' quest to accelerate on a bright morning.
He removed top scorer Jason Mohammed (50) and Jonathan
Carter (39) before adding the scalp of Nurse to finish with three for 32.
Leg-spinner Adil Rashid, apart from showing a safe pair of
hands with the catches to dispose of both Mohammed and Carter, also accounted
for dangerous big-hitters Holder, via a steepling catch of his own bowling, and
Fast bowler Steven Finn did the early damage to the West
Indies innings on the same pitch used for the series-opener which England won
by 45 runs on Friday.
Poor shot selection contributed to Evin Lewis' demise, a
leading edge giving a simple catch to Sam Billings at cover, while a miscued
pull by new batsman Kieran Powell presented Finn with the catch off his own
bowling that took him to the milestone of 100 ODI wickets.
Reaching the landmark in his 67th match, he is the
third-fastest Englishman to the feat behind Darren Gough and Stuart Broad.
"We need to seize the opportunities that come our
way," Holder noted in reflecting on batsmen failing to capitalise on good
starts and also chances missed in the field in both matches in Antigua.
"We keep losing too many wickets to poor shots at the