Jonny Bairstow registered his maiden ODI century    Getty Images
Jonny Bairstow registered his maiden ODI century Getty Images

England made a mockery of a modest chase versus West Indies in the first ODI at Old Trafford, Manchester. Riding on Jonny Bairstow‘s maiden ton, England chased down 205 for the loss of 3 wickets in 30.5 overs. In a 42-over contest, West Indies’ batting order didn’t click and was followed by an ordinary bowling performance. With the loss, West Indies are certain to play the qualifying round to cement a place in ICC World Cup 2019. Ranked No. 9, they had to win the ongoing series by a 5-0 or 4-0 margin.

In pursuit of 205, England started well courtesy new opening pair of Alex Hales and Bairstow. Hales looked in ominous touch and was reading the length of the ball well. However, he fell for 19. Joe Root, at No. 3, continued in his usual manner. Bairstow and Root rotated the strike, put the bad ball to the fence and kept the scoreboard moving. If West Indies batters weren’t able to keep a check on the scoring, their bowlers failed to curb the runs. As a result, Root-Bairstow added 125 runs for the second wicket with ease. There were plenty of singles and 14 fours in the partnership. This sealed the deal for hosts.

Root departed for 54. Eoin Morgan, after a long layoff since ICC Champions Trophy, perished for 10. Nonetheless, Ben Stokes added an unbeaten 35-run stand with Bairstow, and helped the right-hander reach his first triple-figures in ODIs. Hence, Bairstow has also responded to the team management’s faith on him as opener.

Earlier, West Indies opted to bat after wet outfields led to delayed start. They were off to a flier courtesy Chris Gayle. Nonetheless, his dismissal put the brakes on their scoring. Stokes, Adil Rashid and Chris Woakes shared 7 wickets among each other. Jason Holder’s 43 not out propelled West Indies to 204 for 9, but the target proved to be below par in front of a daunting batting line-up.

Brief scores:

West Indies 204 for 9 in 50 overs (Chris Gayle 37, Shai Hope 35; Jason Holder 41*; Ben Stokes 3 for 43, Adil Rashid 2 for 31, Chris Woakes 2 for 41) beat England 210 for 3 in 30.5 overs (Jonny Bairstow 100*, Joe Root 54, Ben Stokes 23*; Kerserk Williams 2 for 50) by 7 wickets.