England have claimed the One Day International series against West Indies 2-1 after a maiden century from Joe Root inspired a 25 run victory in Antigua.
The Yorkshireman hit 107 while Jos Buttler supported him superbly and fell one agonising run short of his first century in England colours as they reached 303-6 before bowling the hosts out for 278, despite a Denesh Ramdin hundred of his own.
England only made the one change with star batsman Eoin Morgan coming in to replace Luke Wright after injury. It wasn’t too long until the Irish born big hitter was at the crease, after the tourists started positively then fell to 115-3 but Morgan only lasted three balls himself and was sent back to the pavilion for just one run.
Michael Lumb and Moeen Ali once again opened the innings after Stuart Broad lost the toss and were inserted to bat by Dwayne Bravo. Lumb hit one maximum and a brace of fours on his way to 20 before Ben Stokes fell the next ball, leaving Bravo on a hat-trick. Joe Root managed to avoid being his third victim in consecutive balls and he then formed a superb partnership with Ali who moved past 50.
However, Root looked to be in trouble when a ball off a good length rose sharply and struck the 23-year-old on the thumb on his right hand which required extended medical treatment. He continued after a rain break of around 25 minutes and battled through the pain.
The Worcestershire batsman Ali couldn’t progress too much further after hitting his maiden half century for his country with Nikita Miller catching the opener off his own bowling for 55.
Morgan then followed as he was bowled for one by Sunil Narine with the right arm spinner picking up where he left off in the previous ODIs where he has picked up three wickets and impressed with his variety of deliveries.
With England stuttering at 116-4 Jos Buttler joined Root at the crease and they supported each other fantastically with the pair bringing up 200 for England in the 39th over. The Yorkshireman then brought up his maiden ODI century off 112 balls which included seven boundaries.
He was been caught up by Buttler as he entered the 90s in style with a flurry of runs. When Root departed for 107 it still looked likely the wicketkeeper would also reach his maiden ODI century but he agonisingly fell just one run short as he fell with just three balls remaining for 99.
England finished on 303-6 with Ravi Bopara and Tim Bresnan finishing off the innings as the tourists set a fantastic score on a pitch that was been used for the third consecutive match.
The West Indians struggled from the very first over of their run chase after man of the match Root picked up the wicket of Kieran Powell despite having strapping on his thumb he injured in process of scoring his hundred. After eight overs the hosts were four down after Broad picked up the wickets of Dwayne Smith and Lendl Simmons while Ali had Darren Bravo caught by Bopara.
From then on it seemed a difficult task for the hosts to claw themselves back into the game as they continued to lose wickets at regular intervals. Bopara was the eighth bowler to be used by Broad and he dismissed captain Dwayne Bravo for 27 as he and Ramdin started to build a partnership.
Six England bowlers managed to claim a wicket as the West Indian batting line up collapsed apart from Ramdin who batted magnificently to reach 128 before he was bowled by Bresnan for 128 ane becoming the first ever wicket keeper to score a century for West Indies in a One Day International.
In the end it was a fairly narrow 25 run victory for England but teher can be no complains over the three match series with the tourists winning the series 2-1 ahead of the three match T20 series in Barbados which starts on Sunday.