Joe Root and Chris Woakes lead England to Cricket World Cup success against the West Indies
Joe Root’s second century of the World Cup helped England cruise to victory over the West Indies, but the celebratory mood in Southampton was punctured by injury scares for captain Eoin Morgan and opener Jason Roy.
Roy hurt his left hamstring sprinting at cover and Morgan headed straight for the pavilion after a back spasm.
The pair were not missed on the day, a modest chase of 213 proving a walk in the park for Root, who opened for the first time in his international one-day career and made 100 not out in 94 deliveries.
Root had already played an unlikely role with the ball, taking two wickets with his occasional off-spin, and the role reversals continued with a Chris Woakes cameo at number three.
Having never batted higher than seven in his previous 91 appearances, the all-rounder was handed an emergency elevation and chipped in with 40.
The game was set up by the bowlers, Jofra Archer and Mark Wood delivering with pace and purpose as they had combined figures of 6-48.
Archer’s first appearance against the team he had represented at Under-19 level had been much debated, but he took the moment in his stride as the Windies slid from 144-3 to 212 all out.
First blood went to Woakes, scattering Evin Lewis’ stumps with a toe-crushing yorker in the third over.
Woakes thought he had a second – the prize scalp of Chris Gayle – but was left aghast as a tough chance popped out of Wood’s hands.
Giving Gayle a second chance can be among the costliest mistakes in one-day cricket yet he never quite made England pay, making 36 before pulling Liam Plunkett to deep midwicket.
Wood made his own amends, ending a tortured knock by Shai Hope, before Nicholas Pooran (63) and Shimron Hetmyer (39) showed some backbone.
In the absence of Moeen Ali, it was Root’s off-breaks which kickstarted a collapse.
He took a pair of gentle caught-and-bowled chances, Hetmyer and Jason Holder succumbing, and with the door open, stand-in skipper Jos Buttler called on Archer and Wood to kick it down.
In reply, Root replaced Roy at the head of the innings and joined Jonny Bairstow in ramming home the advantage.
They took 62 off the first 10 overs before the first breakthrough came with 95 on the board, Bairstow upper-cutting Shannon Gabriel to third man.
Woakes surprisingly emerged at number three but a stand of 104 made the result safe with Root safely reaching his 16th one-day ton.