Joe Root told Sky Sports that the style with which England dispatched West Indies will give the team great momentum at the World Cup.
Root scored a ton while standing in as opener for Jason Roy (hamstring) as England eased to their target of 213 inside 34 overs and moved second in the table, above Australia and behind New Zealand, after a third win in four.
The 28-year-old had earlier taken two wickets with his off-spin, backing up seamers Jofra Archer (3-30) and Mark Wood (3-18), as West Indies were rolled in 44.4 overs at The Hampshire Bowl.
England vs Afghanistan
June 18, 2019, 10:00am
England vs Sri Lanka
June 21, 2019, 10:00am
“It was an opportunity to make a gap from the top four and the rest,” said Root, whose side next face Afghanistan at Old Trafford on Tuesday before tackling Sri Lanka at Headingley on Friday.
“I thought it was important we took the points with the momentum you can gather from it ahead of a pretty quick turnaround.
“The manner with which we played was really pleasing – a number of guys put in really strong performances and that does fill a dressing room with confidence.
“I thought the way the seamers went about it up front was very impressive – they took early wickets and made [West Indies] work hard for every run and followed it up right though the innings.
“To bowl them out was very impressive and then it was about grinding it out and making sure we got off to a good start [with the bat].
Root’s unbeaten 100 from 94 deliveries was his second century of the tournament, after his 107 in the defeat to Pakistan at Trent Bridge earlier this month.
The Yorkshireman shared stands of 95 and 104 with Jonny Bairstow and Chris Woakes respectively, Woakes having also been elevated due to the injuries sustained by Roy and captain Eoin Morgan (back spasm).
“We took the pressure off the rest of the guys, especially having Jason and Morgs go down,” said Root.
“It was important me and Jonny put a partnership together. It was nice to get a hundred in a winning cause and hopefully I can carry that form forward.
“More importantly, hopefully we can keep putting those substantial partnerships together that win you games. It’s a good step forward for the group.”
Wood came into the game under an injury cloud but passed a late fitness test to take his place in the side and dismiss Shai Hope and Andre Russell before bowling West Indies No 11 Shannon Gabriel.
The seamer – who dropped Chris Gayle on 15 before the veteran opener was removed for 36 by Liam Plunkett – gave an insight into his bowling plans at The Hampshire Bowl.
“It was a tennis-ball-bounce wicket but I felt with my skiddy pace that top of the stumps was better than a bombardment,” said Wood.
“Plunkett has bowled well over the years here with cross seam, while we know the dimensions of the ground pretty well so our plan was to bowl hip high.
“If you are bowling short too often it becomes too easy, while with their power hitters if you bowl bouncers too early in an over they know where you are going to bowl and they launch you out of the ground when you pitch it up, so it was about keeping a bouncer back.
It was not actually my ankle but my foot a little bit – it’s another thing I can rack up and say has been injured over the years!
Mark Wood on his fitness
“Woakes and Jofra started brilliantly up top and made my life easier. I felt that although Jofra didn’t get wickets early, he ruffled them up a bit, while Woakes did what Woakes does – nibbled it here and there.
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