WALES: Joe Root and Chris Woakes combined magnificently to help England to victory over the West Indies in the second one-day international at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. Eoin Morgan’s side struggled midway through their innings against the Windies, who were bowled out for 225 runs after 47.5 overs, but Root and Woakes steadied the ship excellently, putting together 102 runs to guide England to victory in the second ODI and also the series. West Indies captain Jason Holder chose to bat first but his batsmen struggled to get to grips with the conditions, though Jason Mohammed did manage to hit a half century on the slow wicket. England also had trouble at the crease but Root, who was recently appointed as Alastair Cook’s successor as England’s Test captain, produced a classy, assured innings, racking up 90 runs while Woakes made 68. Jason Roy hit 52 runs as he enjoyed his stint at the crease while Liam Plunkett dented West Indies’ attack, taking 3-32.
Windies spin bowlers Ashley Nurse (3-34) and Devendra Bishoo (2-43) performed admirably but could not topple Root and Woakes, who will hope to inspire England to a series whitewash in the final ODI in Barbados next week. Root knew he had to bring calm to the proceedings for his side as they struggled with the spin and credited Warwickshire’s Woakes for taking the pressure off of him. The pair impressed but cut it close as they patiently guided England to victory with 10 balls left. “When the wickets were falling, I knew we had to stay calm,” Root told. “We needed just around four an over so it was about being really patient. I thought Woakes played exceptionally well and he took a lot of the pressure off me. “It’s setting us up nicely for the end of the series and the summer.” Root and Woakes will receive the plaudits for their work with the bat but Captain Morgan says praise must also go to his side’s bowlers, who he believes did an outstanding job in Antigua. “The bowlers did an outstanding job again but the chase wasn’t ideal,” Morgan said. “We knew it was going to be tough: Jason Roy played nicely at the top. But that period where we lost a lot of wickets was concerning. Then again, having a partnership between your best batsman and your best bowler to put on 102 was outstanding.”