An inept West Indies suffered their heaviest One-Day International defeat to England, when they crashed to a 186-run loss in a lopsided series finale.
Reserving their worst performance of the three-match series for the historic Kensington Oval, the hosts batted and bowled with equal indifference, as England pulled off their first-ever clean sweep of an ODI series in the Caribbean.
Sent in, England equaled their highest-ever total against the West Indies and the highest ever at the venue with 328 all out off their 50 overs, with fit-again opener Alex Hales gathering 110 and Joe Root, 101.
The pair dominated the West Indies bowling, adding 192 for the second wicket to pull their side around from the early loss of Jason Roy for 17 in the sixth over with 27 runs on the board.
Twenty-year-old fast bowler Alzarri Joseph, playing his first game of the series in place of the injured Shannon Gabriel, claimed four for 76 while captain and fellow seamer Jason Holder picked up three for 41.
Having never successfully chased a total in excess of 300 to win an ODI, West Indies buckled under the weight of history and collapsed for 142 all out off 39.2 overs – narrowly avoiding their lowest-ever venue total of 141, 23 years ago.
Only left-hander Jonathan Carter with 46 showed any enterprise but he was the sole batsman to pass 20 and one of just three to reach double figures.
West Indies were tormented by seamers Chris Woakes (3-16) and Liam Plunkett (3-27) who finished with three wickets apiece while Steven Finn claimed two for 35.
Once the hosts collapsed to 45 for six in the 17th over, the mission became one of avoiding embarrassment, and they needed Joseph’s entertaining unbeaten 22 off 13 balls at number 11, to avert total disaster.
Left-hander Kieran Powell (6) failed for the third straight game when he defensively pushed the third delivery of the innings from Finn in to Hales’ hands at short square leg.
In the very next over, new batsman Evin Lewis tugged an attempted pull back to bowler Woakes without scoring and when opener Kraigg Brathwaite’s nondescript waft at Plunkett found Root at mid-wicket, West Indies were tottering on 13 for three in the fourth over.
Jason Mohammed, already with two half-centuries under pressure in the series, failed to deliver this time as he missed a drive at Plunkett and was bowled for 10 at 32 for four in the 13th over and Shai Hope (16) and Holder (0) fell to Plunkett off successive deliveries in the 17th over, to leave the innings in strife.
Carter, who finished as his side’s leading run-scorer with 137 runs, faced 77 balls and struck eight fours while adding 30 for the seventh wicket with Carlos Brathwaite (7).
But seamer Ben Stokes trapped Brathwaite lbw on review and Carter was eventually ninth out, caught in the deep pulling at Finn in the 36th over.
Hales and Root had earlier put England in control, with Stokes weighing in with a cameo 20-ball 34.
Not for the first time in the series, the tourists lost an early wicket when Roy drove Joseph into Holder’s lap at mid-off but Hales and Root overcame a tough period to dominate.
In his first match of the series after sufficiently recovering from a broken hand sustained on the recent tour of India, Hales faced 107 deliveries and crunched nine fours and five sixes to record his fifth ODI hundred.
Root, meanwhile, coming off an unbeaten 90 in the second game in Antigua last Sunday, counted 10 fours in a 108-ball knock to post his eighth ODI hundred.
Hales started slowly but quickly grew in confidence to reach his half-century off 52 balls with a cover-driven boundary off expensive leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo in the 21st over which leaked 18 runs.
Given out on 93 in the 34th over, lbw to part-time off-spinner Kraigg Brathwaite, Hales gained a reprieve via DRS and raised triple figures off 99 balls with a top-edged six over the keeper’s head off Joseph.
He was beginning to open his shoulders even further when he was caught at fine leg by Nurse off Joseph.
Root, dropped twice before he had reached 20, strolled to his half-century off 71 deliveries but stepped on the gas and required only another 36 deliveries to reach three figures.
On 241 for three at the end of the 40th over, England seemed poised for a total well in excess of 350 but underachieved in the last 10 overs, with only 87 runs coming for the loss of seven wickets.
(Taken from windiescricket.com)