‘Happy days’ in Barbados for Roy and Root after abundant ODIs prep

By Rory Dollard, Press Association Cricket Correspondent, Bridgetown
PA Ready Sport

Jason Roy and Joe Root helped themselves to centuries as England’s one-day side began World Cup year with a thumping 171-run warm-up win in Barbados.

The tourists had too much quality to be troubled by a University of West Indies vice-chancellor’s XI, a pre-series workout ahead of five ODIs against the West Indies and the first 50-over fixture of 2019.

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They posted 371 for seven at the 3Ws Oval, Roy retiring on 110 and Root following with a lively 114, before dismissing their hosts for 200.

Roy cut a contented figure at the close of play and believes England head into Wednesday’s first ODI at the Kensington Oval in good order despite this being their only competitive workout.

“It was good fun, a perfect start from a personal level and as a team,” he said.

“We got together a huge total and Rooty got some balls in the middle as well. It was a great bowling effort and a pretty convincing win so it’s happy days.

“With the volume of practice we get in the nets this should be more than enough (preparation). That’s just the way it is and you have to suck it up and get on with it.

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“Nets are nets and you can strike it nicely but as soon as you get out in the big bad world it’s a different story. I feel I’m hitting the ball well but Wednesday is another day, so it’s back to the drawing board and try to do exactly what I did here.”

England’s team included at least nine of the XI players expected to start the World Cup campaign, with Jos Buttler rested and Mark Wood’s starring role in the St Lucia Test earning him the final seamer’s slot.

Alex Hales, standing in for Buttler, failed to exert any pressure on the top six with a soft two-ball duck while Wood turned in a steady showing of two for 35.

Roy and Jonny Bairstow provided a solid start after being put in, adding 129 for the first wicket.

Roy took on the bulk of the scoring, reaching 50 in 43 balls as he worked the ball consistently through the leg-side.

Bairstow, downed at mid-wicket on nine, was four short of his own half-century when he was bowled attempting to slog-sweep Yannick Ottley, but Root’s arrival in the middle ensured England barely missed a beat.

Roy progressed serenely to three figures, bringing up the landmark with a neat reverse sweep and marking the moment with the gentlest of celebrations. He retired out soon after with his day’s work done.

He had taken 78 balls over his ton, with Root quicker by a matter of four deliveries. It was not a flawless innings, primarily for his apparent culpability in running out captain Eoin Morgan for eight.

Joe Root claimed nine fours and four sixes in his hundred (Jason O’Brien/PA)
Joe Root claimed nine fours and four sixes in his hundred (Jason O’Brien/PA)

Root got lucky when Chemar Holder turned a catching opportunity on the boundary ropes into six runs on 77 but, fresh from finishing the Test series with a knock of 122 in St Lucia last week, he was in full control for the majority of his stay.

There were nine fours and four sixes in his hundred and though he did not follow Roy’s lead in retiring, his stumping off Keron Cottoy was of the care-free variety.

England’s lower order saw them to a winning total, though a spectator was left needing treatment after a Moeen Ali six struck him in the face.

Wood took the new ball in reply and showed hints of the menace that saw him reinvigorate his red-ball career in the third Test.

He struck opener Kjorn Ottley with a nasty bouncer and dismissed him with the very next ball, returning later to add the scalp of his younger brother later in the innings.

Adil Rashid, who flew home after the first Test, and the fit-again Chris Woakes each picked up two wickets with Moeen Ali and Liam Plunkett grabbing one apiece.

Ben Stokes, who passed a morning fitness test, wrapped up the victory with 6.1 overs to spare.

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