‘Outstanding’ Bairstow century lights up Old Trafford as England beat West Indies

Jonny Bairstow produced a delightful batting display to give England a seven-wicket victory over the West Indies in the first one day international at Old Trafford.

On a bright, sunny day in Manchester cricket fans were bewildered when the umpires announced a delay to the start of play.

Following rain overnight and a series of music concerts at Lancashire’s cricket ground, the field of play was deemed “too dangerous” for the players.

Thankfully the weather remained clear and the playing field was soon dry.

Now with a reduced 42 overs per side, West Indies captain Jason Holder won the toss and elected to bat first.

Big hitting opener Chris Gayle got the Windies off to a blistering start smashing 37 off just 27 balls.

However frequent wickets by a potent England bowling attack managed to restrict the visitors, until a knock of steely resolve from Holder (41*) guided the Windies to 204-9 off their 42.

Ben Stokes shone for the home side with figures of 3-43, including the valuable wicket of long- time rival Marlon Samuels.

Chris Woakes and Adil Rashid also picked up two wickets apiece.

In reply England’s counterpart to Gayle, Alex Hales (19), fell early leaving the Yorkshire duo of new opener Bairstow (100*) and Joe Root (54) to rebuild the innings.

Together they produced a 125-run partnership before Root was bowled by Kesrick Williams.

Williams was persistent and quickly had the England captain Eoin Morgan caught behind for 10 as he earned figures of 2-50, yet Bairstow remained unaffected.

Scoring freely, he brought up his first ODI century in 97 balls before new partner Ben Stokes (23*) followed up his earlier heroics by launching a huge six into the crowd for the winning runs.

“I thought he was absolutely outstanding today and obviously it’s a great way for him to start the series,” Morgan said about Bairstow.

The second England v West Indies Royal London ODI begins at Trent Bridge on Thursday at midday.

Image courtesy of England & Wales Cricket Board via YouTube, with thanks.

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