Alex Hales and Joe Root set up England whitewash

March 10, 2017

Centuries by Alex Hales and Joe Root paved the way for an easy England victory as the tourists secured a 3-0 one-day international (ODI) series whitewash of the West Indies, their first ever in the Caribbean. 

Having won the first two matches of the series, England came to Barbados seeking to continue their good form ahead of a summer when fans can see them attempt to win a first global ODI tournament in the Champions Trophy, with Edgbaston, Cardiff's Swalec Stadium and the Kia Oval hosting matches. 

In the event, they were able to seal the clean sweep with a crushing 186-run win after making 328, the highest score of the series.

Returning to the side after injury, Alex Hales made the most of his chance by scoring 110. His innings was particularly brutal on the spinners as he scored 60 from their bowling and the Nottinghamshire opener managed to successfully review an LBW verdict when he had made 93. 

It was a key innings for a player who had lost his Test place after opting out of the Bangladesh tour and then being injured in India, but who set the highest ODI individual score for England against Pakistan last summer when he made 173 at Trent Bridge.

Hales added 192 for the second wicket with Joe Root, who made 101. The new Test captain had made eight half centuries in his previous 11 ODI innings without converting them into centuries, a run that included being stranded on 90 not out when Chris Woakes hit the winning runs in the second ODI of this series. However, this time he was not to be denied.

From 219-1 England lost momentum as wickets tumbled, although a sparkling cameo of 34 from 20 balls by Ben Stokes ensured the total passed 300 before the innings was terminated with the run-out of Liam Plunkett from the final ball.

The West Indies, who have seen their side slump to ninth in the ODI rankings and consequently miss out on the Champions Trophy, were never in the hunt. Needing a good start to challenge for the daunting target, they lost Keiran Powell to the bowling of Steven Finn with just seven on the board, and just one more run was added before Chris Woakes had him caught and bowled. When Finn removed Kraigg Brathwaite it was 13-3 and all over bar the shouting. The home side slumped to 45-6 before a bright 46 by Jonathan Carter and a merry 22 not out by number 11 Alzarri Joseph provided a little bit of resistance, but the home side still crashed to 142 all out. 

Reflecting on England's dominant tour and improved ODI form since the 2015 Cricket World Cup, Woakes told the BBC Test Match special programme the side has its best ever chance to win major 50-over tournaments this summer and two years from now when the next World Cup is also in England.

He observed: "We haven't seen an England team in ODI cricket play the way this team is playing at the minute, particularly with the bat."

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