Root leads Lions to crushing victory
Joe Root bagged a century as England Lions surged to a 10-wicket victory at Wantage Road to send West Indies into the first Investec Test at Lord's with little cheer.
Root, who made an unbeaten 115, and Michael Carberry, with 72 not out, barely had a moment's worry against a depleted attack, as England knocked off 197 to win with more than a session to spare.
Yorkshire batsman Root's share brought him his second first-class hundred, easy pickings as he accelerated the scoring rate and the West Indies notably took their feet off the pedal.
The tourists' mid-match fightback faltered immediately on the final morning here. They had defied expectations yesterday, when Kieran Powell and Shivnarine Chanderpaul helped them wipe out a mammoth first-innings deficit.
But the tail lasted barely half-an-hour today - and after bowling their opponents out for 390, the Lions moved with the minimum fuss to a lunchtime 61 without loss.
By contrast, West Indies cut hapless figures in the field. Without strike bowler Kemar Roach - who took a blow on his right hand batting against Stuart Meaker this morning, to go with the ankle he twisted two days ago - stand-in captain Kirk Edwards' options were further compromised when seamer Ravi Rampaul left the field after four overs with the new ball.
In those frontline absences, Darren Bravo was required to bowl only his second spell in first-class cricket - and Root and Carberry were predictably untroubled when his scurrying medium-pace was introduced as first change.
The Lions' openers, who discovered today that team-mate Jonny Bairstow will be the man to replace the injured Ravi Bopara in England's Lord's squad, turned on the style as the Windies conceded with barely a whimper after lunch.
Rampaul was back on the field at least. But neither he nor Fidel Edwards was used as the tourists opted for apparent damage limitation to their pace-bowling resources and allowed off-spinners Shane Shillingford and Marlon Samuels to go through the motions.
Root passed his 50 with his sixth four when Samuels went round the wicket and induced an edge from the new angle, at catchable height, wide of slip.
There were eight boundaries in Carberry's half-century, from 116 balls, and he too reached the milestone by edging an off-break - from Shillingford - past slip.
Root had needed 96 balls to post his 50 but more than doubled his boundary count to 14 as he scooted from there to three figures in only 36 more. Appropriately, he completed the job thanks to a misfield.
Kent seamer Matt Coles, who returned figures of 4-76, struck twice this morning to finish off the West Indies' second-innings resistance for the addition of only 13 runs.
It might have been only seven or 11, had either Nick Compton at second slip or Root at short-leg managed to hold routine catches offered respectively by last pair Roach off Meaker and Rampaul off Coles.But at such little cost, such minor details were never likely to prove significant.