Jason Roy and Joe Root centuries negate Chris Gayle's as England beat West Indies in first ODI

Joe Root's century saw England to the win - AP
Joe Root's century saw England to the win - AP

For the most imposing batting line-up in England’s one-day international history, even a Gayle storm only qualifies as a mild inconvenience. Chris Gayle’s 135 on his international return was an innings brimming with theatrical quality; for England, clinical efficiency sufficed.

With almost ludicrous ease, England cruised to their target of 361 in Barbados and another nugget of history-making for this astounding side: their highest successful run chase ever. Making history has seldom looked so mundane.

Cheered on by a crowd dominated by England fans once again, two contrasting centuries showcased the side's calibre and range. First came Jason Roy, who arrived at the crease, to begin England’s chase of 361, in considerable debt: Roy had shelled Gayle only nine runs into his century.

West Indies decided to open with Devandra Bishoo - Roy is weakest against leg spin - to make him more angsty. Roy promptly clumped his fourth ball for six over midwicket. It was the prelude to a brilliant assault in the Powerplay, during which Roy hit eight boundaries; Gayle, beginning with his customary ostentatious care, only mustered eight runs during this ten-over period.

Roy’s timing and power, dominating a brisk opening stand of 91 in 10.5 overs, set up the game for Joe Root. Nothing better embodies the audacity of England’s ODI batting than Root’s role as anchor - a job he can fulfil even when scoring at over a run a ball, as he did here. This was a wonderfully unobtrusive century, laced with elegant driving and crisp placement - even if, like Roy, he benefited from the West Indies’ shoddy fielding.

England's Jason Roy drops West Indies' Chris Gayle - Credit: AP Photo
Jason Roy arguably owed his team: he dropped Chris Gayle on 9 Credit: AP Photo

Seven chances, of varying difficulty, were spilled - Ashley Nurse endured a particularly egregious day. These felt like collateral damage induced by the sheer force with which England hurtled towards their target. With Eoin Morgan crisp and adroitly targeting the shorter legside boundary, the West Indies found there was no escape, and had the look of a team a bowler short. Long before Jos Buttler crashed his first ball for four to seal victory with eight balls unused, any sense of jeopardy had seeped out of the chase.

It all added up to the sort of victory that reverberates well beyond the mere confines of a bilateral ODI series. Or, at least, it would have done had there been any real surprise about the manner of England’s chase. The wonder of this side is that the ridiculous has become the new normal. In their brilliance, this batting order can make even chasing over seven an over seem humdrum.

Yet somehow the stands, dominated by England supporters though they were,  had seemed more alive during the first innings of the game. Chatter about Gayle - these are, almost certainly, his last ever internationals in Barbados - had extended to the street and the beach, word extending even to the uninitiated. “The West Indies guys are all excited because some old guy is coming back,” remarked one American tourist the day before the game.

West Indies' Chris Gayle - Credit: AP
West Indies' Chris Gayle: some old guy Credit: AP

Like the best entertainers, Chris Gayle knows that, sometimes, the waiting is all part of the thrill. For 54 balls, he poked and prodded at the ball and, wherever possible, left it safely alone, scoring at under a run every two balls. It was incongruous, very Gayle and yet the prelude to a century that included 12 sixes and five lost balls. His thundering strokes, predominantly hit in the arc between midwicket and long off, called to mind the old banner beloved by his fans in the IPL: ‘When Gayle bats, fielders become spectators, and spectators become fielders’.

England were rattled. 15 wides dotted an uncharacteristically sloppy bowling display: Gayle’s impact exceeded the 135 runs he scored. Others borrowed from his playbook: Shai Hope played with supreme elegance for his 65, and Darren Bravo, as if affronted to be demoted due to the West Indies’ fine start, promptly launched his first ball for six. When Nurse went down on one knee and smote the last ball of the innings over the long on ropes, it was the 23rd six of the West Indies innings, setting a new world record.

Jason Roy - Credit: AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan
Jason Roy was in good touch for a brisk century in reply Credit: AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan

If conditions were placid for batting, England’s bowling attack did not wear the mantle of World Cup winners as readily as their batsmen would later. Gayle targeted Plunkett after his reprieve, plundering four sixes in 14 balls; he also hit five against Moeen Ali, who leaked 27 in his last over. Adil Rashid was held back until the 34th over - Morgan seemingly reticent to bowl him to Gayle - but the variety and vim of his nine overs, which he bowled straight through, showed he remains a potential option at the death of an innings. Though Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes held up well during the final skirmishes, it was assuredly a good day for one Barbadian native: Jofra Archer.

It was a measure of the firepower of the West Indies line-up that Gayle’s teammates actually comfortably scored quicker than him, adding 207 in 172 balls while he managed 135 in 129. As England breezed past what they had been set, it raised the question: had Gayle’s early caution actually hampered his side? His century, in even time, had taken 35 balls longer than Roy’s - and, for all their contrasting styles, four deliveries more than Root’s too.


England win by 6 wickets (8 balls left)

A mighty hundred from Chris Gayle set England 361 but they in all honesty never looked in any trouble. I am hearing people saying that Gayle played out too many dot balls and that might have been a factor, especially compared to England's constant strike rotating, busy running etc. But, for my money, the fact that West Indies could not catch was more of a factor.

And England have become very, very good at one day batting. Roy brought the big shots, Root the canny accumulation and their two centuries were more than enough. Handy knocks from Morgan and Baristow just added to the comprehensive nature of the victory. They needed until the penultimate over to do it but you felt that England were never off the bridle - and this ended up being their highest ever run chase to win an ODI. Impressive.

Match report coming up. From me, goodnight.


OVER 48.4: ENG 364/4 (Stokes 20* Buttler 4*) target 361       

Buttler clips the ball to the fence for four and that is the end of the innings.


WICKET! Root c Pooran b Holder 100

Stokes pinched the strike off the last ball of the last over but does the decent thing here, running a leg bye off the first ball of the over. Root, with a flowing, expansive drive through point has himself four runs and a superbly judged century. A wide from Jason Holder - for it is he - takes the scores level.

We descend into farce now. Holder runs up and seems to lose his grip. Umpire calls dead ball and Root picks up the cherry and tosses it back.

Now Holder bowls a high full toss and Root spanks it to deep midwicket. A nice boost for Nicholas Pooran on the rope as he catches it on the fence. Oh well. FOW 360/4

Jos Buttler presumably has to put his pads back on/put down his beer and come out...


OVER 48: ENG 354/3 (Root 98* Stokes 19*) target 361     

Only remaining intrigue is whether Root gets his ton or Stokes gets muddled and hits two sixes.

Couple of wides in this Brathwaite over. Seven runs reqd.


OVER 47: ENG 346/3 (Root 96* Stokes 17*) target 361     

Thomas. Two singles. Two dots. That brings the equation to 20 off 20. Stokes dinks a half volley away through the covers for four. Economy of movement, lovely timing. 15 off the last three overs


OVER 46: ENG 339/3 (Root 95* Stokes 11*) target 361   

Jason Holder, what a very fine man he is, will not give this up without a fight. Energetic, whole-hearted and skilful over goes for just three.

22 runs needed from 24 balls.


OVER 45: ENG 336/3 (Root 94* Stokes 9*) target 361   

England have certainly had the rub of the green I would say here. Full toss from Thomas, Stokes drives at it and thick edges it for four, that could have gone anywhere. Add in a wide and some good running - England are superb in that dept. - and it's an 11 run over and all hope is surely lost now for the men in maroon.


OVER 44: ENG 325/3 (Root 92* Stokes 1*) target 361 

This would make an unimprovable third act if Nurse could somehow bowl Windies to a win. He produces a great arm ball here and it shaves the off stump of Ben Stokes. He's gone for 17 in this three over spell.


OVER 43: ENG 321/3 (Root 90* Stokes 0*) target 361 

That is more like it. Just three off the over and the wicket.

40 needed off 42 balls.

England have had many fewer dot balls than West Indies, that will be the difference I think. That and the awful fielding.


WICKET! Morgan c Holder b Thomas 65

Finally. Morgan spanks the ball on the up, it's travelling very hard at Jason Holder but he manages to cling on. No celebration from him. Glimmer of hope? FOW 321/3


OVER 42: ENG 318/2 (Root 89* Morgan 64*) target 361

Nurse: Morgan. Nurse: The screens, in fact. Morgan slams the ball for six. All told, ten off it.


OVER 41: ENG 308/2 (Root 87* Morgan 56*) target 361

Bishoo. Only six off that over. The beginnings of a hint of a bit of pressure?


OVER 40: ENG 302/2 (Root 85* Morgan 52*) target 361

Good over from Ashley Nurse, three runs off it. Well bowled. Come on Ashley. Spin em out.


OVER 39: ENG 299/2 (Root 84* Morgan 50*) target 361                         

Well, the Campbell Gamble did not pay off. But the senior spinner Bishoo fares no better. 15 off the over. Morgan reverse sweeps and, guess who is there making a misfield as the ball goes for a four?

It is indeed. This guy.

Morgan slots a six over long on and adds another four, he's made his fifty.


OVER 38: ENG 284/2 (Root 84* Morgan 35*) target 361                       

John Campbell comes on. Interesting time to give a debutant who is in the side as a bat his first ever bowl in a one-day international but I guess if you've got Ashley Nurse in your fielding line up then you probably need to roll the dice in some other area of the game. England wallop him for 13 runs in an over of neither here nor there off-breaks. Windies simply must take a wicket.

Bishoo is coming back for the next over...


OVER 37: ENG 271/2 (Root 73* Morgan 33*) target 361                       

Brathwaite. Morgan. Nice cut for four! That tasty main dish is accompanied by four singles and England need 90 from 13 overs.

That's 7.3 an over or summat and England have to fancy their chances.


OVER 36: ENG 263/2 (Root 72* Morgan 27*) target 361                     

One of the all-time terrible performances from Nurse the fielder. Can Nurse the bowler make amends? No. Joe Root hits him for six. Actually, to be fair, there are only seven runs off the over so that's not bad at all.

This is how I imagine Ashley Nurse would get on with his dog.


OVER 35: ENG 256/2 (Root 72* Morgan 20*) target 361                     

OMG you guys. Nurse has dropped another one. The poor bloke. Root leans back and slices to third man, here's friend Nurse, trundles forward and dives down to get it. Harder than some of the others I guess but, well, some days you eat the bear, and some days the bear eats you. For the avoidance of doubt, Ashley Nurse has been eaten by a bear.

Carlos Brathwaite, the unfortunate bowler, covers his face with his cap.


OVER 34: ENG 248/2 (Root 66* Morgan 18*) target 361                   

Here comes Nurse for a bowl. Well, it gets him out of the field if nothing else. Decent over. Four off the over.


OVER 33: ENG 244/2 (Root 64* Morgan 16*) target 361                   

OMG Nurse has dropped another one. Pretty rancid effort from the hosts here. Root's ramp shot could hardly have presented a friendlier chance down at third man, but he has managed to spurn that one as well.


OVER 32: ENG 236/2 (Root 62* Morgan 10*) target 361                 

Oshane Thomas steaming in. Root's top edged pull goes over the keeper for four. "Not a bowler's day," reflects Big Bob Key. Oshane bangs the ball in again, and Root just helps it on it way for a four over third man.

5,000 ODI runs for Joe R.

Something for him to celebrate over drinks perhaps.


OVER 31: ENG 225/2 (Root 52* Morgan 9*) target 361                 

Jason Holder then captain selects Jason Holder the bowler for a new spell. Only blot on the copybook is a ball that drifts onto the Root pads, clipped for four. And that's a half century for the England run machine.


OVER 30: ENG 219/2 (Root 47* Morgan 8*) target 361               

Oshane Thomas comes back on. And he has soon created a chance: Root slashes to backward point and, would you believe it, Nurse has dropped it.

Some pathetic catching and fielding from West Indies this afternoon and, if they do end up with the L, you cannot say they do not deserve it.

On the other hand, there were just two off the over, and a few more tight overs could make it nervy...


OVER 29: ENG 217/2 (Root 46* Morgan 7*) target 361               

Bishoo. Trio of singles for this classy England pair, and then Morgs reverse sweeps for a crisp four.


OVER 28: ENG 210/2 (Root 44* Morgan 2*) target 361             

And sure enough, that has put the lid on things in the short-term. Brathwaite gets through a five-run over.


OVER 27: ENG 205/2 (Root 41*) target 361             

That wicket, off the last ball of the over, has given WI an end to bowl at.


WICKET! Roy c Bravo b Bishoo 123

Off the penultimate ball of the over, another stumping shout. Shai Hope with some smart work but again Oxenford says he is back. More clear cut this time. Whether rattled by that or not we will never know...

... but now Roy has sliced the next ball to short third man and is caught, low, by Bravo. Muted celebrations from Bishoo. But West Indies needed that. FOW 205/2


OVER 26: ENG 201/1 (Roy 122* Root 38*) target 361           

Brathwaite comes on for a bowl, lucky him, and in fact the five runs that come off the over are as good as it has been for a while for the WI. England pass 200 and they are looking strong.


OVER 25: ENG 196/1 (Roy 120* Root 35*) target 361           

Root knocks it to point for one, bringing up the 100 stand. Roy reverse-sweeps Bishoo very hard and Bravo nearly pulls off a screamer. But he doesn't. I'm feeling mean so I'll bold that up as a drop as well but it would have been a worldie.

At the halfway point England have got the rate down and 165 runs are required from 25 overs

More than one way to skin a cat.


OVER 24: ENG 189/1 (Roy 118* Root 30*) target 361         

Nurse again. Chris Gayle not a lot of use in the field, just stands and watches the ball tickle past him at short fine leg. Four for that, seven off the over.


OVER 23: ENG 182/1 (Roy 112* Root 29*) target 361         

Bishoo. Roy has two very close shaves there. He slogs to midwicket and there's Nicholas Pooran, who gets both hands to the ball.. and then drops it. It rolls on to the rope, to add I to I. A duck and a dropped sitter for Pooran, who has had a day to forget.

Later in the over, Roy - who is a bit hopped up - comes out and swishes, misses, and is stumped. Looks very close call to me but TV ump Bruce Oxenford needs just the most prefunctory glance to rule it not out.

Roy stumping given not out - Credit: Sky
Roy stumping given not out Credit: Sky


OVER 22: ENG 176/1 (Roy 107* Root 28*) target 361       

Do not carry on, Nurse. They'll have to give him the hook after this surely? Roy smacks him down the ground for six, nice way to bring up your 7th ODI century. Well batted Jason. After a brief interlude in which Root paddles a four, Roy is back at it lofting over extra cover. Another six. Woof.


OVER 21: ENG 158/1 (Roy 94* Root 23*) target 361       

Thomas comes back and I am afraid it's more of the same: Roy whacks him for four to midwicket, then down the ground as well for the same result. He is in to the 90s.


OVER 20: ENG 143/1 (Roy 85* Root 22*) target 361     

Nurse through his third over, he has gone for just 16: miserly by the standards of this match.

England managed something like 57 singles in the first 20 overs to Windies 26. Translation: Chris Gayle don't run. But I think also a point about how cleverly and busily England rotate the strike at the top of the order these days.


OVER 19: ENG 143/1 (Roy 83* Root 19*) target 361     

Roy has been excellent but it coulda gone the other way a couple of times. He's smacked one back at Holder just now and Jason gets half a hand to it. I mean I suppose you could say he dropped it. If you were a total stickler. Alas for Jason, it didn't... stickler.


OVER 18: ENG 138/1 (Roy 81* Root 16*) target 361   

Nurse. Roy. Four. Covers. Off the over? Seven all told.


OVER 17: ENG 131/1 (Roy 76* Root 14*) target 361   

Jason Holder brings himself back on. And there's a chance! A poor choice of shot from Roy as he plays a sort of short-armed scoop-pull, gets it all wrong, and the ball flies over the head of slips. Big Oshane Thomas charges to get it, dives, but cannot get there. I think I can feel the ground shaking from here.

Thomas dives - Credit: Sky 
Thomas dives but cannot get there Credit: Sky


OVER 16: ENG 126/1 (Roy 74* Root 12*) target 361 

A first bowl for Ashley Nurse, and a tidy contribution it is too. Just four off the over and it is time for drinks.



Eoin Morgan exclusive interview: 'We played outdated cricket at the last World Cup - now we want to inspire a generation'


OVER 15: ENG 122/1 (Roy 72* Root 10*) target 361 

Bishoo comes back but, if he's going to bowl half trackers like this to Roy, he might as well have stayed home. Bosh. four. Nine off the over. Can a team be complacent when they need 239 at more than eight an over? England looking the part.


OVER 14: ENG 113/1 (Roy 67* Root 6*) target 361

England are at it and I am not too sure what Windies can do rn other than hope for a wicket and then a collapse. Maybe a self-inflicted wound, such as this wild shot from Roy that gets him an ill-deserved four.


OVER 13: ENG 105/1 (Roy 60* Root 5*) target 361         

Five off Holder. A moment of alarm for Roy when he gets a pull all wrong and has to wait and see where it lands. Safe, that is where.


OVER 12: ENG 100/1 (Roy 57* Root 3*) target 361         

Root plays it into the offside where it beats the stiff, lumbering Gayle easily. Surprised the great man hasn't swung the lead tbftbh. A four in the over for Roy off the pads.

Ton up for the English.


OVER 11: ENG 92/1 (Roy 51* Root 1*) target 361       

Roy reached his fifty shortly before the wicket. Root comes in and, as is his wont, nudges a single. He'll look to rotate. Roy will look to ram-jam.


WICKET! Bairstow c Hope b Holder 34

It's skipper! Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Jason digs it in, Bairstow attempts the pull, and is livid with himself for feathering an edge through to the keeper. FOW 91/1


OVER 10: ENG 88/0 (Roy 48* Bairstow 34*) target 361       

Bairstow has also helped himself to four off the pads, and I really do not think that Brathwaite can bowl it there on this true deck with smallish boundaries. Roy tickles fine, 12 from the over and England are making short work of a big target here.

The powerplay: England 88/0

"Bishoo was the victim of common assault, and the seamers fared no better," says Jeffrey Dujon of the first ten.

273 runs required from 40 overs


OVER 9: ENG 76/0 (Roy 42* Bairstow 29*)     

Lovely shot from Jason Roy - "his signature" according to Knighty. The bat comes down as if from second slip and he just presses the ball off the pads for four. It is a classy stroke.


OVER 8: ENG 67/0 (Roy 36* Bairstow 27*)     

Brathwaite comes on and we have a rare boundary-less over.


Not a runner


OVER 7: ENG 63/0 (Roy 34* Bairstow 25*)   

Jason Holder comes on. In between the increasingly inevitable boundaries, a moment of disquiet for Mr Roy when he is too early on a clip to leg and is nearly a victim of the dreaded spoon. Happily, the ball is out of the grasp of midwicket.


OVER 6: ENG 54/0 (Roy 29* Bairstow 21*)   

Muscular hitting from both of these strong men, peppering the legside fences as the game but, on this very limited evidence, somewhat one dimensional Thomas charges in. Three fours in the over.


OVER 5: ENG 41/0 (Roy 24* Bairstow 13*) 

Then again, Bishoo's getting some treatment as well. Roy hits through off, pull drives to leg and there are 9 off the over.


OVER 4: ENG 32/0 (Roy 15* Bairstow 13*) 

Not sure the hale and hearty pace of the right-arm fast Oshane Thomas is the way to go here. Like Mark Wood and Liam Plunkett before him, he is easy to hit through with pace on the ball. Nice quick lifter in there eh but.


OVER 3: ENG 21/0 (Roy 8* Bairstow 11*)

England are at it as well. After YJB spanks Bishoo down the ground for a four that landed inches short, Roy has the 24th six of the day over midwicket.


Here is the great man celebrating

his ton earlier.

West Indies' Chris Gayle - Credit: AP
West Indies' Chris Gayle Credit: AP


OVER 2: ENG 8/0 (Roy 1* Bairstow 5*)

Oshane Thomas to share the new ball. He is a STRAPPING lad. My goodness. You wouldn't want to be behind him at the buffet. Quick one to start with and he can swing it away. Bairstow meets fire with fire and smashes the next one through point for four.

Oshane Thomas - Credit: Sky
Oshane Thomas Credit: Sky

Thomas is 22, this is his fifth ODI - and he has played fewer than ten FC games.


OVER 1: ENG 2/0 (Roy 1* Bairstow 1*)

Quick and flat, Bishoo has snuck that over through before England have even really got settled. Just two runs off the over.


England have it all to do

By no means impossible. But a big ask. Here come J Bairstow and Mr Roy. Their first challenge will be the leg-breaks of Mr D Bishoo. Bless you.


England have it all to do

But there are runs to be had on this ground, certainly if you hit with the wind. See you back here shortly.


England require 361 runs to win

"One of my best innings," says Chris Gayle, and my goodness there have been a few. Adil Rashid was the pick of England's bowlers with 3/74. Stokes and Woakes did well at the back end sharing five wickets. Gayle targeted Moeen, whose ten went for 85, while Mark Wood and Liam Plunkett had tough afternoons.

Jason Roy dropped Gayle when he was on 9... off 32 balls! Oh blimey. Drinks on Jason tonight I feel.


OVER 50: WI 360/8 (Nurse 25* Bishoo 9*)       

After a brief delay where Bishoo is incorrectly given out LBW when hit on the toe reverse sweeping (he tickled the ball first) and we have to wait for the review to make the correct call, we have time for just one more six, as big as any of them, when Nurse slams the ball over cow corner for the TWENTY-THIRD SIX OF THE INNINGS. 15 off Rashid's last, denting his figures but still a good day for him.

And that is the end of that.

West Indies' Chris Gayle plays a shot against England during the first One Day International  - Credit: AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan 
Chris Gayle was in imperious form Credit: AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan


The record falls! 22 sixes

And it comes about when Devendra Bishoo, who has never hit a six in his 37 match ODI career (!), manages somehow to reverse sweep Adil Rashid for the maximum return. Oooookay then. What an afternoon this has been with the bat!


OVER 49: WI 345/8 (Nurse 18* Bishoo 1*)     

Stokes completes his over: two overs two for nine in this mini spell and most welcome it has been too. Dev Bishoo is the new man. Adil Rashid will bowl the last over.


WICKET! Brathwaite c Buttler b Stokes 3

Cheap wickets to be had here for the England lads, the West Indies lower middle order swinging like rusty gates. Brathwaite heaves the ball up into the air and Buttler does the rest. FOW 343/8


OVER 48: WI 341/7 (Brathwaite 1* Nurse 17*)     

Rashid has been doing a really good job for the side, they perhaps might reflect they ought to have brought him on earlier. But Ashley Nurse has taken a shine to him! Googly first ball, Nurse has smacked that for six Dreamy six down the ground now, the 21st of the innings. Nurse! The screens! And now adds a four. That's 17 off his first five balls.


WICKET! Holder st Buttler b Rashid 16

A curio here. Or nearly. Rashers tosses it up, Jason is down the pitch, swing and a miss. Jos Buttler has the ball in the gloves, he moves to knock the bails off...

Buttler stumping
Jos swipes left... and misses!

... but misses! Holder turns and tries to get back but Buttler has the time for another go. He swipes right, and... by Jove I think he's got it.

Jos swipes right and gets a result - Credit: Sky
Jos swipes right and gets a result Credit: Sky

Jason Holder lingers a bit before leaving but, sorry pal. That's yer lot. FOW 322/7


OVER 47: WI 322/6 (Holder 16* Brathwaite 1*)   

Carlos Brathwaite! Battle is rejoined with Ben Stokes... but he does not get his four sixes in a row this time. Probably just as well.


WICKET! Gayle b Stokes 135

Ah, he has finally gone, but WHAT a knock! Chris Gayle is just the absolute best to watch. What a player. He's got a thick outside edge to Stokes and dragged the ball on to his stumps. Just a thrilling knock, really enjoyed that. 12 singles for his first 12 runs. Talk about getting your eye in. FOW 317/6


OVER 46: WI 317/5 (Gayle 135* Holder 13*)   

Don't think I have really seen a ball beat the bat this afternoon, but here is one, as Chris dabs and misses at Adil. Chris plays a nice shot and stands to admire it. Just a single in the end. They probably could have run two at least!


OVER 45: WI 313/5 (Gayle 132* Holder 11*) 

Smart bowling from Woakes as he tries a slower off cutter but smarter batting from Holder who waits for it and then pounces with the dab cut. Four. A more uncomplicated approach a ball later as he wallops a four through the covers.


OVER 44: WI 302/5 (Gayle 132* Holder 1*) 

Anyway it all means that Jason Holder is coming to the crease. Couple of singles and then Gayle smokes a hard, flat six. That 21 sixes record is going here, innit?


WICKET! Bravo c Woakes b Rashid 40

A wicket for Rashers, but rather a Pyrrhic victory. First ball of the Rashid over, he gives Gayle the one that turns away from the leftie, Gayle bites down on the bait and has sliced that to Woakes at midwicket. Running in, Woakes cannot grab it. I guess we will be generous and say that it dropped short.They run a single.

Still, England do not have to wait long. Next ball, Bravo slaps it to Woakes, who can set himself this time. FOW 294/5

I would say that it is not the wicket that England wanted but on the other hand, Bravo had scored 40 of that 64 run partnership and perhaps he was fresher than Chris.


OVER 43: WI 293/4 (Gayle 124* Bravo 40*)

Woakes. Well done sir. A tidy, solid over and just a couple off it.


OVER 42: WI 291/4 (Gayle 123* Bravo 39*)

Apparently this is ball number nine we are now on! And talking of #numbers, England hit a record 21 sixes at Trent Bridge last summer against the Tamperers. We're up to 18 here.

Rashers continues to do sterling work from the non-firework end though. Just four off him.


OVER 41: WI 287/4 (Gayle 121* Bravo 37*)

Ooh, Moeen Ali. Oooh. Ow. Ouch. This is a proper carpeting! My goodness. Six to Gayle! Six to Gayle! Long off and midwicket respectively. Single, and here is Bravo. Six over cow corner! Another six over cow corner - and that one is on the roof. Boys-a-dear Moeen has had some tap there. It reminds me of the time my team, the Twenty
Minuters, played against CHRIS CAIRNS. While he was still an international.


OVER 40: WI 260/4 (Gayle 106* Bravo 25*)                                     

Bit of a delay while the physio comes out to work on Chris. Hamstring. He reached his 100 in 100 balls but to be fair has been very quiet since.


OVER 39: WI 253/4 (Gayle 104* Bravo 20*)                                   

Make that the last 12 assault! Batting in a cap that inevitably conjures up memories of the legendary Brian Charles Lara, Bravo lazily swings Mooen into the midwicket stands for a six. I think a supporter in the crowd might have got dinged by that one. Not sure. Hope they are okay.


OVER 38: WI 245/4 (Gayle 103* Bravo 13*)                                   

Adil Rashid has really done a job here, because England's fast men were being splattered all over Barbados. Just three off this over as England apply a torniqet and the Windies gather themselves for the last-ten assault.


OVER 37: WI 242/4 (Gayle 102* Bravo 11*)                                 

Bravo. Woakes. Four runs off the pads.


OVER 36: WI 236/4 (Gayle 101* Bravo 1*)                                 

Bags of experience out there right now for WI as Darren Bravo joins Chris. And he has hit his first ball for six! Leggie from Rashers, goodnight!


WICKET! Pooran c Roy b Rashid 0

Oh, NOW Jason Roy cannot stop catching them. All that is left of Nicholas Pooran is the amusing name 'Pooran'. He has departed for a duck, slotting the ball down the ground and finding long-off as if with a heat-seeker. FOW 230/4

Windies having a mini wobble here.


OVER 35: WI 229/3 (Gayle 100* Pooran 0*)                               

There is just one off that over. The new bat Nicholas Pooran cannot pierce the infield for three balls.


WICKET! Hetmyer c Roy b Woakes 20

But it is not all good for the men in maroon: Hetmyer, who has been a bit sloggy in general, slaps the wrong ball to midwicket. Roy partly atones for his previous drop by pouching a regulation chance. FOW 229/3

Not to dwell on it, but here is the Roy drop from earlier!

England's Jason Roy drops West Indies' Chris Gayle - Credit: AP Photo
England's Jason Roy drops West Indies' Chris Gayle Credit: AP Photo


Chris Gayle makes his century!

And there it is - a solid thwack through point for a single and Chris celebrates by getting down on his knees (better to worship himself, I guess) and then raising his bat aloft. He balances his helmet on his bat because... he's Chris Gayle, he can do whatever he likes. An absolute masterpiece in slow starting and then total dominance for any young universe bosses watching at home.


OVER 34: WI 227/2 (Gayle 99* Hetmyer 19*)                               

Rashid gets a chance to bowl at Chris Gayle, the lucky chap. Only six runs off the over, four of them to a delicate sweep for Gayle. That moves him on to 99*


OVER 33: WI 221/2 (Gayle 94* Hetmyer 18*)                             

Sensible Sally Chris Woakes comes on to see if he can get everyone to calm down, and there's a big shout for caught behind as Hetmyer has a heave. Given out. The West Indies man reviews pretty much right away, and rightly so. He did not hit that.

Hetmyer not out - Credit: Sky
Apologies for the blur: Hetmyer not out Credit: Sky

He then follows that up with a wide, a wide, and is hit to the fence for four runs.


OVER 32: WI 213/2 (Gayle 93* Hetmyer 13*)                             

Plunkett's last over went for 15, can he improve on that in this new spell? I am afraid he cannot! He has gone for 17, albeit with a caveat that I will get too in a minute.

Despite a couple of wides, things are going reasonably well until the fifth ball, when Gayle seizes on a shorter one and muscles it for six to cow corner. Last ball of the over, dug in, Gayle goes at it and get the top edge... high in the air... three England players race to get it but it flies for six behind the keeper! Oh man. That is pretty lucky from Chris. Into the nineties.


OVER 31: WI 196/2 (Gayle 81* Hetmyer 11*)                           

Mark Wood, come on down. This is not going well. He's let slip a full toss, and Gayle is soon slotting that away for six. Worse yet, it was a no ball. The free hit ball goes for six as well, and we are going to need a replacement cherry. I believe that makes four new balls? Expensive business this. Wood's day gets worse with a two wides, bringing Shimron on strike. He's not letting the old boy have all the fun, he's panneled one into the stands as well.

Drinks. A welcome interlude for England I would suggest.


OVER 30: WI 174/2 (Gayle 69* Hetmyer 4*)                           

That wicket brings one of the most exciting talents in West Indies, and indeed world cricket, to the crease to join its most charismatic star of recent years. Shimron Hetmyer has a chance to impress, and perhaps impress Gayle, although I do not have personal knowledge of the dynamics in the dressing room. But if you're a 22 year old West Indies up-and-comer it must be cool to bat with Gayle, right? Anyway, they young man's opening bid is to slam the ball down the ground for four. Toe of the bat but the power saw it to the rope.


WICKET! Shai Hope c Rashid b Stokes 64

Ah shame, an attractive innings comes to an end. Ball three, Shai plays a supreme shot on the up through the offside for a lovely four. As good as it gets, that. But in this innings, I am afraid, that really is as good as it is going to get: he tries to work the ball to leg, it bounces more than he might have thought, and it hits the splice of his bat to give Rashid a regulation catch at third man. FOW 169/2


OVER 29: WI 165/1 (Gayle 69* Hope 60*)                         

That 15-run over (over 27) from Plunkett means... no more overs from Liam Plunkett for the time being. Sorry Plunky. Mark Wood comes on in his stead. Hope tucks the ball legside, alarmingly close to being caught by Moeen at short midwicket. But safe. With Gayle on strike, Wood goes for a full approach, looking to slant it across the LHB but he cannot find the line. Wide. Another wide. Even still, it woulda been a reasonably economical over had Shai Hope not pulled a bouncer off his eyes for four last ball. He played it well but kind of flinched into it, not convinced about that personally and England might do well to pepper him in the upcoming Tes-- oh wait. We already lost those.


OVER 28: WI 156/1 (Gayle 68* Hope 54*)                         

Stokes restores some order, just two off this over, and could have been an even better result when Gayle chops down on the ball and sends it skipping over his own stumps.


OVER 27: WI 154/1 (Gayle 67* Hope 53*)                       

Here comes Plunkett, and his preferred method of communication is THE SLOWER BALL IN THE SLOT. Plunky, brace yourself: this is going to smart. Chris has lashed the first one over midwicket, and then the next one, er, over midwicket. Six and an even bigger six.


OVER 26: WI 139/1 (Gayle 54* Hope 52*)                       

Chris is no mere slugger though, he's got the touch as well, and here he is delicately dabbing Stokes down to third man for four - and a fifty. This increasingly enjoyable, and probably match defining, stand is now worth 100.


OVER 25: WI 132/1 (Gayle 49* Hope 50*)                     

Oof! Taxi (and possibly some savlon) for Moeen! He has been roughly treated there and I cannot see him bowling again for a bit. Hope tucks him away for a single that brings up his fifty and now Chris Gayle has launched - LAUNCHED - Mo for a six over the legside. That was as big a hit as you'll ever see. Good old Chris. Terrible chap but if you want to watch somebody really wallop a cricket ball, there is still nobody quite like him even after all these years.


OVER 24: WI 122/1 (Gayle 41* Hope 48*)                     

Stokes digs a spicy meatball in at Gayle. Chris hurried up a bit there.

Gayle crashes a ball back at Ben Stokes who sticks out a mitt and half stops it,


OVER 23: WI 119/1 (Gayle 39* Hope 47*)                   

Gayle sweeps Ali hard and flat, Bairstow makes good ground and a game leap on the midwicket rope but cannot grab it and the ball lands maybe six inches inside the rope for a 4.


OVER 22: WI 114/1 (Gayle 34* Hope 47*)                   

Just two runs off this Stokes over, a needed handbrake for England after a bit of a flurry.


OVER 21: WI 112/1 (Gayle 33* Hope 46*)                 

Here he is! Here is what the crowd have come to see, it's Chris Gayle striding imposingly down the track and mullering Moeen Ali's second delivery of the over for six down the ground. Moeen's next ball is quite wide, dragging Gayle forward and Jos B has the bails off. No stumping.


OVER 20: WI 103/1 (Gayle 26* Hope 44*)                 

Hello there, Tyers here, swanning in just in time to see that monster six from Shai Hope. That was proper Trott hitting it over the Lord's Pav stuff. I am talking Albert, not Jonathan, for the avoidance of the zero doubt that you could have.

Anyhoo, perhaps that will give the West Indies innings the shot in the arm it needs. Here is Ben Stokes to start a new spell. The right-hand and left-hand combo perhaps contributing to some wayward, but not wide, lines here from Ben. Last ball of the over, Gayle charges down the track and tennis shots the ball to leg for a couple. Ton is up.


OVER 19: WI 98/1 (Gayle 23* Hope 42*)               

Oh that's delightful. Huge, huge six from Hope down the ground, landing the ball on top of the media centre! That went absolutely miles.

Hope then beats the man at backward point, cutting the ball away to the rope. Very well played. He's the leading the charge.

As now will Alan Tyers for the blog! Enjoy.


OVER 18: WI 85/1 (Gayle 22* Hope 30*)               

Plunkett takes a tumble on the wicket but he's up and alright. Five singles! Tickling along the West Indies rather than thundering their way to a big lead. Still, 18 overs in.


OVER 17: WI 80/1 (Gayle 20* Hope 27*)             

Run rate currently 4.78, so not flying along. Three singles from that over.

Looks alright, I guess.


OVER 16: WI 77/1 (Gayle 19* Hope 25*)             

Hope starts with a single. Good bounce from Plunkett, keeping it short. Gayle just waiting for the fuller ball, nice and relaxed. Swivels a single away to deep square leg. One more single, three off the over.

Gayle now has the most sixes in all of international cricket (Tests + ODIs +T20s)



OVER 15: WI 74/1 (Gayle 18* Hope 23*)           

Gayle's awake. Big six, over the top of long on into the stand. That was overdue, his first boundary of the day with a skip down the track.

Great fielding by Roy, cutting off a shot to the covers. Ali regains control, no more runs after that six.


OVER 14: WI 68/1 (Gayle 12* Hope 23*)           

Plunkett not exactly banging it in. Hope gets enough bat on the ball to beat Stokes for four. Six off the over.


OVER 13: WI 62/1 (Gayle 11* Hope 18*)         

Ali showing far more control, finding a good line outside off stump. One single off the over takes him to 0-4.


OVER 12: WI 60/1 (Gayle 10* Hope 17*)         

Plunkett now on, first ball threaded for a single by Hope past the man at cover. Cracked up in the air by Gayle, Roy  running back under it... dropped! Wow. Sliced up into the air, hung there for an age. Two fielders between cover and point and yet Roy puts it down.

Plunkett follows up with a wide and then off the last gets sliced to the boundary by Hope, who looks good so far. Nine off the over and Gayle still there.


OVER 11: WI 51/1 (Gayle 9* Hope 10*)       

50 up for the Windies after Gayle's single - Ali now on, by the way. And he starts rather well, just two from the over. Small hints of turn towards the end.


OVER 10: WI 49/1 (Gayle 8* Hope 9*)       

Another single for Gayle, opening the face of the bat and letting that roll to point.

Very nice drive from Hope, straight back down the ground. Oh and that's even better, a flick of the wrists, no one out at deep midwicket - four more. He's in fine touch.

Video of England's first wicket of the day.


OVER 9: WI 40/1 (Gayle 7* Hope 1*)     

Hope off the mark straight away with a single, and Gayle adds another too. He's on seven off 24 balls, meaning an explosion of runs is surely on the way.

Chris Woakes of England celebrates dismissing John Campbell - Credit: GETTY IMAGES
Chris Woakes of England celebrates dismissing John Campbell Credit: GETTY IMAGES


WICKET! Campbell 30 c Ali b Woakes

Pitch offering up no movement, hence England's lack of slips. Everybody fanned out waiting for the ball to get some air.

And it works! Off-cutter, Ali out at deep square leg and Campbell's gone for 30. FOW 38-1


OVER 8: WI 38/0 (Gayle 6* Campbell 30*)     

Seems odd to describe Gayle as conservative, but that's been the case so far. Leading edge but the ball drops to safety past cover! And then again but this time Wood can't quite get there. Where's the real Gayle? Two off the over.

ngland's Mark Wood - Credit: AP
Credit: AP


OVER 7: WI 36/0 (Gayle 5* Campbell 29*)   

Wood so far hovering around the mid-80s with his speed in that last over.

Full from Woakes and Campbell gives that a great crack for six! Lovely. Into the seats with the wind over at deep midwicket.

Woakes slows it down, no run to finish the over.


OVER 6: WI 28/0 (Gayle 4* Campbell 22*)   

Gayle asks to change his bat. Maybe his first choice was too light. Not off to a flying start as he swivels and guides a single to square leg.

Campbell stabs a single to third man, run rate currently 4.67.


OVER 5: WI 26/0 (Gayle 3* Campbell 21*) 

Huge appeal from Woakes! Height may well be an issue and looks to be on the replay, although that will keep Campbell sharp. Was also outside the line.


Edge follows but it's over the top of the cordon and away for four to third man. That's a nice shot though by Campbell, another boundary for the man on debut with a straight drive. He moves to 21 off 16.


OVER 4: WI 18/0 (Gayle 3* Campbell 13*) 

Nice control by Wood. Gayle gets out of the way late, big old swing and miss. Just one off the over.


OVER 3: WI 17/0 (Gayle 3* Campbell 12*)

Woakes mixing the pace up. Campbell looks smooth enough until an inside edge, luckily for him wide of the stumps and instead going for four.

And here they were earlier.

Chris Gayle of the West Indies presents John Campbell with his ODI cap - Credit: GETTY IMAGES
Chris Gayle of the West Indies presents John Campbell with his ODI cap Credit: GETTY IMAGES


OVER 2: WI 9/0 (Gayle 1* Campbell 6*)

Mark Wood on at the other end, dangerous start. Gayle keeping that light bat (see below) out the way, finding Gayle's back leg with the first ball! Looked high.

Wood coming in hot, too hot - that's a wide. Then a single clipped down the leg side to get Gayle off the mark.

Campbell adds a couple before Wood really tests him, beating Campbell for pace with the last. Two good overs for England.


OVER 1: WI 5/0 (Gayle 0* Campbell 4*)

And we're away! A small breeze but otherwise ideal conditions. One leg bye until the last ball when Campbell produces a lovely drive down to long off.

Quick reminder of the ODI rankings heading into today.

ODI Rankings
ODI Rankings


Slow starters


Gayle's thoughts

"It's a tough series going up against the No 1 side in ODI cricket, but we have to stick within ourselves and stick to our tactics and hopefully England will make the mistakes."

On facing Mark Wood's pace: "I have a light bat so hopefully that can do a bit of talking!"



So, those England changes

Out goes David Willey, while there's no room for Alex Hales or Tom Curran. That XI feels very predictable, in a good way. You could name the batting lineup from memory.


Windies will bat first


And here's the Windies

No Kemar Roach, who will miss the first two ODIs with a back injury. Debuts for Campbell and Pooran.


The England team


The reliability of Liam Plunkett

How about this for a statistical nugget from Tim Wigmore.

Since the 2015 World Cup, Plunkett has taken 76 wickets, the fifth most of any fast bowler in the world.

The problem, as Wigmore points out, is that Plunkett's pace has dropped. Is he being picked out of loyalty?


A new career for Gayle?

Having confirmed that he will retire after the World Cup, perhaps Chris Gayle is eyeing up a new sporting career...

Chris Gayle (L) and Nicholas Pooran (R) of West Indies - Credit: AFP
Credit: AFP


The weather is predictably glorious


Welcome one and all

Cricket everyone, lovely cricket. The first ODI gets underway at 3pm UK time this afternoon and I'll be handling the first hour before the superb Alan Tyers arrives.

Before we get started, here's an excellent interview from Paul Hayward with Eoin Morgan on the journey he has been on with the captaincy.

“It’s probably best to start at the 2015 World Cup and actually what came out of it. I think in essence – extremely poor performance. And I think we got what we deserved in many ways, because we weren’t competing with the best in the world at the time, we were playing a brand of cricket that was dated, and we weren’t adapting to any trends that had happened in the six to eight months leading into that 2015 World Cup."


West Indies v England, first ODI preview

England captain Eoin Morgan has vowed to do things his own way as the clock counts down to the 2019 World Cup but is happy for his predecessor, Sir Alastair Cook, to talk his side up as tournament favourites.

Cook was axed as skipper shortly before the 2015 World Cup, with Morgan hastily installed ahead of the competition in Australia and New Zealand. It proved a disastrous campaign but the Irishman has overseen a white-ball revolution in the intervening four years leaving England as world No 1's in the 50-over format.

Cook, speaking with 100 days to go until the competition begins, became the latest high-profile pundit to back England, noting they are "feared throughout the world" and tipping them not to repeat the sins of past editions.

Morgan's response came from Barbados, on the eve of the first one-day international against the West Indies, and he welcomed the plaudits.

"There's a chance well go in favourites, we've spoke about it and don't mind the tag," said Morgan. "We've learned to be at ease with it in the last few series. But it doesn't really mean anything - you have to produce to be rewarded and have a bit of luck as well.

"To handle it my own way is first and foremost a priority, it's something that I've done since I've been captain and will continue to do.

"Every series that we've played has almost been a rehearsal for the build-up for the big occasion so I can't imagine anything is going to change.

"The reason we're excited about it is because we've been building to it for so long."