England captain Eoin Morgan toasted Jason Roy’s unflagging self-belief and hailed Joe Root as “our rock” after the pair’s sensible centuries led England to a record-breaking win within the first one-day worldwide in opposition to the West Indies.
Requested to finish the most important chase of their historical past, 361, England’s fearless limited-overs facet stared down the problem and got here out on high, triumphing by seven wickets with eight deliveries remaining.
Having watched 39-year-old Chris Gayle unload 12 sixes on his method to 135 within the first innings, Roy accepted the problem with a 65-ball ton of his personal to offer the reply the adrenaline shot it wanted.
The Surrey man completed with 123, with 15 boundaries and two maximums, having taken a wholesome chunk out of the asking fee.
After he and Root shared a superb century stand the latter did the identical once more in partnership with Morgan, grinding the West Indies down together with his potential to maintain the scoreboard shifting and launch stress.
Root fell simply earlier than the road, holing out for 102 with the scores tied, however his composure by no means flagged.
“For Jason to go on and play such a commanding innings actually units us up for such a giant run chase,” stated an admiring Morgan.
“It’s superb, the way in which he performs. To come back out and present the braveness he does and the belief that he does. It’s sensible.
“Folks will neglect Joe scored 100 there too, he made it look very straightforward, however we’re so lucky to have a man like that who might be our rock. He’s no slouch.”
Jonny Bairstow performed a minor function by comparability, first man down for 34, however Morgan highlighted an electrical opening stand of 91 between him and Roy as a pivotal interval.
Gayle, contemporary from his 24th century within the format and newly put in as worldwide cricket’s primary six-hitter (overtaking Shahid Afridi together with his first of the day), is the plain touchstone and Morgan was joyful to attract comparisons.
“The way we began set the tone of the innings, Jason and Jonny had been excellent,” stated Morgan.
“They do present related attributes to Chris, who’s been doing it for 20 years. That potential to place your greatest ball away for 4 or six is heartbreaking as a bowler.
“To have guys like that repeatedly placing stress in your opening bowlers just isn’t solely troublesome to play in opposition to however troublesome to captain in opposition to as effectively.”
Gayle, the self-styled ‘Universe Boss’, did his speaking on the midway stage of the sport, whereas it nonetheless seemed like his may be the decisive contribution of the day.
“I raised the West Indies flag a bit excessive because it’s my final dwelling collection (earlier than retiring),” he instructed Sky Sports activities.
“It’s greatest to maintain the Windies flag excessive and ensure everyone has an opportunity to see it. That is certainly one of my greatest innings to be sincere with you.
“It took me some time to get my first boundary, however on the similar time, I caught at it and finally like in life, it’s not the way you begin, it’s the way you end.”
Ultimately it was England who completed strongest, taking a 1-Zero lead and leaving their hosts questioning what sort of whole they’ll must be protected within the subsequent 4 matches.