England Go 1-0 Against West Indies After Bairstow Hits Maiden ODI Century
The first of the five match ODI series between England and the West Indies got off to a late start at Old Trafford due to a wet outfield. The match was reduced to 42 overs a side and the West Indians decided to bat first after winning the toss.
The West Indies looked a lot more formidable as some of their star players such as Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels made their way back into the ODI squad after managing to sort out issues with the West Indies Cricket Board. Gayle who was playing his first ODI since 2015, got his side off to a good start making a quick 37 from 27 balls.
West Indian Big Guns Fail
However the England bowlers made good use of the conditions as took wickets at regular intervals. Woakes took 2 wickets and Stokes chipped in with 3 wickets while leg spinner Adil Rashid tied the West Indians down and made it difficult for them to rotate the strike. The West Indies could only manage to get to 204 in their allotted 42 overs and that was largely due captain Jason Holder making an unbeaten 41.
England decided to experiment by leaving out Jason Roy and promoting Jonny Bairstow to open the batting. Bairstow grabbed the opportunity with both hands and played a steady innings to register his maiden ODI century and remain unbeaten on 100. He lost his opening partner Alex Hales (19) early but Joe Root steadied the ship with yet another half century to put England in firm command.
Bairstow Steady At The Top Of The Order
England lost Root and captain E Morgan in quick succession but England were never in trouble because they were always ahead of the run rate. Ben Stokes came in and played some big shots to take England close to victory and it looked at one stage that Bairstow might not be able to get to his hundred. However things worked out well for England and Bairstow as he made his first ODI hundred after 28 ODIs. Stokes finished the match in style by hitting a six and remaining unbeaten on 23.
The two sides will meet again for the second ODI which is scheduled to take place at Trent Bridge on September 21. The West Indies will need their senior players to make bigger contributions if they are going to pose any challenge to this strong England squad.