Jonny Bairstow's maiden one-day century helped England secure a classy seven-wicket victory against West Indies in a rain-affected first ODI at Old Trafford.
Bairstow, who opened the batting in the absence of Jason Roy, fully justified his inclusion at the top of the order, scoring an unbeaten 100 and guiding the host to a straightforward victory over the Windies, who never threatened after setting just 205 to win from 42 overs.
Chris Gayle struck 37 from 27 balls after being dropped by Joe Root but once the effervescent opener departed the scene the tourists faltered badly. It took a cameo from Jason Holder, who scored 41 from 33 to give West Indies 204 for 9 as Ben Stokes finished with three for 43.
Though Alex Hales made just 19 Bairstow and Root took the game away from their opponents with a second wicket partnership of 124. The Test skipper departed, not before scoring his 23rd ODI fifty, and though Eoin Morgan made just 10 it was left to Stokes [23 not out] to plunder the winning runs with a swat over long on for six to secure victory with 11.1 overs to spare.
"I said to Stokesy halfway down, not again," said Bairstow, who made 99 in the fourth Test against South Africa on the same ground. "It seems a long time ago I made my debut in one-day cricket, but with the strength in depth of the England side, opportunities are so few and far between. It's why we've gone on to make scores of 400."
West Indies skipper Holder added: "We were probably 30-40 runs [short], but we didn't bowl as well as we should. We leaked boundaries. We needed to rotate the strike, it's been an area of concern for a while. We lost wickets at crucial stages, and that doesn't help with momentum. But with runs on the board we should have given a better account of ourselves."
Both teams now move on to Nottingham for the second ODI at Trent Bridge on Thursday [21 September].
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