Jonny Bairstow hammered a maiden century today as England won their first ODI since their defeat to Pakistan in the ICC Champions Trophy semi-finals and ended West Indies hopes of qualifying automatically for the 2019 World Cup.
Bairstow (100 not out from 97 balls) justified his selection ahead of Jason Roy at the top of the order by easing England past Windies’ 204-9 with 11.1 overs to spare in a match reduced to 42 overs-a-side due to a wet outfield at Old Trafford, the venue where Bairstow was trapped lbw for 99 in the Test match against South Africa earlier this summer.
England lost only Joe Root (54), Alex Hales (19) and skipper Eoin Morgan (10) as they secured an emphatic seven-wicket success – Bairstow and Root putting on 125 for the second wicket – in the first clash of the five match series.
Windies needed to beat England 4-0 or 5-0 to earn enough points to overhaul eighth-placed Sri Lanka in the ODI rankings and secure a spot in the 50-over showpiece in England in two summers’ time.
But the return of Chris Gayle, playing his first ODI since smashing 61 against New Zealand in the 2015 World Cup, failed to sufficiently inspire the tourists, the Jamaican sparkling all too fleetingly with 37 from 27 deliveries.
Gayle – who hammered 41 from 20 balls in Windies’ T20 triumph over England in Durham on Saturday – was seemingly still in Twenty20 mood and should have exited third ball for nought, only for Root to shell his loose drive off Chris Woakes at second slip.
The Jamaican, buoyed by his reprieve, tapped a single to bring up his 1,000th ODI run against England and then went on the offensive, dumping Woakes for six and David Willey for two more.
Root atoned for his drop, however, in the ninth over, catching Gayle’s slog off Woakes over his shoulder running into the deep, shortly after the batsman had appeared to tweak his hamstring.
Gayle’s departure followed that of opening partner Evin Lewis (11), who hacked Moeen Ali’s third ball to square leg, leaving Shai Hope (35) and Marlon Samuels (17) to compile a patient 50 stand.
Bairstow ended that partnership when he took a leaping grab at deep midwicket after the in-form Hope lashed a pull shot off Ben Stokes (3-43), who went on to have old foe, Samuels, caught behind off the glove on review. Samuels’ tenure at the crease brought West Indies’ momentum to a crawl as the right-hander spent over an hour and 46 balls in compiling his runs.
Windies’ run rate stalled in the middle overs amid a cluster of wickets – Woakes (2-41) and Adil Rashid (2-31) ending with two each – before Jason Holder (41 not out) helped leather Stokes’ final over for 15, Stokes bowling two high full tosses as well as dismissing Jerome Taylor (2).
Taylor then plucked the first wicket of the England innings – Hales’ eye-catching 14-ball knock, in which he muscled four fours, coming to an end when he picked out Lewis at backward point in the fifth over.
Windies had to wait almost 20 overs for their next breakthrough, though, with Root chopping Kesrick Williams onto his stumps shortly after striking his 23rd ODI fifty in his 93rd game.
Williams also accounted for Morgan, the England skipper snicking behind to wicketkeeper Hope, before Bairstow turned his sixth ODI fifty into his first century with a scampered three while in tandem with Stokes (23 not out from 10 balls), the latter sealing a dominant triumph with a six off Ashley Nurse.
With September 30, 2017, set as the cut-off date for automatic qualification for the ICC’s pinnacle 50-over tournament, the Windies (78 points) now cannot move ahead of Sri Lanka (86 points) on the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings irrespective of how their remaining matches against England pan out.
This means the 1996 world champions have become the eighth and last team to qualify directly, joining Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa.
The Windies will now progress to the 10-team ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018, where they will be joined by the bottom three sides on the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings – Afghanistan, Zimbabwe and Ireland – as well as the top four sides from the ICC World Cricket League Championship and the top two sides from the ICC World Cricket League Division 2.
The top two sides from the World Cup Qualifier will complete the 10-team line-up for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, which will be staged in the United Kingdom from 30 May to 15 July.
C Gayle c Root b Woakes 37
E Lewis c Hales b Ali 11
+S Hope c Bairstow b Stokes 35
M Samuels c wkp Buttler b Stokes 17
J Mohammed c Hales b Rashid 18
R Powell c Willey b Woakes 23
*J Holder not out 41
A Nurse c Root b Rashid 1
D Bishoo b Willey 5
J Taylor c wkp Buttler b Stokes 2
K Williams not out 0
Extras (lb3, w9, nb2) 14
TOTAL (9 wkts, 42 overs) 204
Fall of wickets: 1-45, 2-53, 3-103, 4-107, 5-149, 6-150, 7-160, 8-187, 9-202.
Bowling: Woakes 8-0-41-2 (w2), Willey 6-0-39-1 (w1), Ali 2-0-5-1, Rashid 9-0-31-2, Plunkett 8-0-42-0 (w2), Stokes 9-0-43-3 (w4, nb2).
J Bairstow not out 100
A Hales c Lewis b Taylor 19
J Root b Williams 54
*E Morgan c wkp Hope b Williams 10
B Stokes not out 23
Extras (w4) 4
TOTAL (3 wkts, 30.5 overs) 210
Did not bat: +J Buttler, M Ali, A Rashid, C Woakes, D Willey, L Plunkett.
Fall of wickets: 1-31, 2-156, 3-175.
Bowling: Taylor 7-0-46-1 (w1), Holder 3-0-18-0, Williams 6-0-50-2 (w1), Nurse 8.5-0-48-0 (w1), Bishoo 6-0-48-0.
Result: England won by seven wickets.
Series: England lead five-match series 1-0.
Man-of-the-Match: Jonny Bairstow.
Toss: West Indies.
Umpires: Simon Fry, Tim Robinson;
TV – Rod Tucker