Root, Hales guide England to clean sweep against Windies

Indo Asian News Service

Barbados, March 10 (IANS) Centuries by Alex Hales and Joe Root helped England complete a 3-0 clean sweep of the West Indies after the hosts were thrashed by 186 runs in the third and final One-day International (ODI) at the Kensington Oval here.

Put in to bat, England racked up a sizeable 328, but the home team could muster only 142 in 39.2 overs in its reply on Thursday. This was the Caribbean side's heaviest loss against England in an ODI in terms of runs, while it also marked the first occasion since 1991 that England had swept an ODI series against the West Indies 3-0.

Back in the side after a two-month injury lay off, Hales fired a 107-ball 110 to virtually take the game away from the hosts with a record 192-run second wicket stand with Root, who followed up his match-winning 90 not out in the second game in Antigua with a 108-ball 101.

West Indies needed victory to avoid a series sweep and also pick up valuable ranking points that would help the team earn automatic qualification for the ICC World Cup 2019, but the team came up short.

Dropped catches hurt the Caribbean side, with Root let off twice early in his innings.

Alzarri Joseph, the 20-year-old Antigua pacer looked the most threatening of the West Indies bowlers though he was on the expensive side, picking up 4/76 in 10 overs. Skipper Jason Holder, who won the toss for the third consecutive time, did well while opening the bowling to return 3/41 in 10 overs.

In response, West Indies went into the backfoot straightway after losing three early wickets with just 13 runs on the board inside the first four overs. They quickly slid to 45/6 by the 17th over.

Jonathan Carter top-scored with 46 in the middle-order to delay the inevitable.

For the English side, Chris Woakes, who was named the man-of-the-series, and Liam Plunkett, took three wickets each.

Pacer Steven Finn also played his part with two wickets while leg-spinner Adil Rashid finished off the affair with the last wicket of Devendro Bishoo.

Brief Scores: England 328 (Alex Hales 110, Joe Root 101, Alzarri Joseph 4/76, Jason Holder 3/41) beat West Indies 142 (Jonathan Carter 46, Alzarri Joseph 22, Chris Woakes 3/16, Liam Plunkett 3/27) by 186 runs.

--IANS

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