Another day at office for Windies
MANCHESTER, England (CMC):
West Indies, two-time former World champions, will have to battle minnows Ireland, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe, along with four teams from the ICC World Cricket League Championship and another two from the ICC World Cricket League Division Two, in a tournament next year in order to reach the World Cup.
West Indies' dismal one-day international (ODI) form continued with a seven-wicket defeat to England in the critical opener at Old Trafford yesterday, condemning the Caribbean side to the 10-team qualifying tournament in order to reach the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
Needing to sweep the five-match series in order to achieve direct qualification for the showpiece, West Indies put themselves under pressure when they could not muster 203 for nine in the contest reduced to 42 overs per side following a two-hour delayed start due to a wet outfield.
Captain Jason Holder top-scored with an unbeaten 41 off 33 deliveries, while opener Chris Gayle, in his first ODI in two years, belted a typically aggressive 37 off 27 balls.
Stylish right-hander Shai Hope carved out an attractive 35, while Rovman Powell got 23, but no other Windies batsman passed 20.
As expected, England made light work of the target, coasting home in the 31st over with Jonny Bairstow celebrating his promotion the top of the order with 100 not out - his maiden ODI century.
Test captain Joe Root chipped in with a polished 54, while all-rounder Ben Stokes arrived at the end to help formalise the result with a cameo unbeaten 23 off 15 balls.
The defeat was the 16th in the last 21 ODIs for West Indies and their 12th loss in their last 17 outings to England.