Root cashes in against depleted West Indians
England Lions 341 (Taylor 118) and 197 for 0 (Root 115*, Carberry 72*) beat West Indians 147 (Bravo 51) and 390 (Powell 108, Coles 4-76) by 10 wickets
Joe Root, the Yorkshire batsman, hit an unbeaten hundred as England Lions cruised to a 10-wicket victory against the West Indians on the final day in Northampton. Root and Michael Carberry ensured the Lions knocked off their target of 197 with considerable ease with the visitors disappointingly going through the motions after showing much more spirit the previous day.
The West Indians provided barely a threat with a depleted bowling attack after the last two wickets had been removed in the opening half an hour. Kemar Roach did not bowl during the Lions chase after taking a blow on his right hand while batting to add to the twisted ankle he picked up on the second day. Ravi Rampaul then left the field after an opening four-over spell while Fidel Edwards was not given much further work ahead of the first Test despite the visitors' lack of cricket on tour.
Whether there were serious concerns ahead of the Test remained to be seen, but if they do opt to play offspinner Shane Shillingford, one of the three quicks on show here will have to make way for Darren Sammy, who was rested.
It meant the bowling was largely in the hands of the two spinners, Shillingford and Marlon Samuels, plus an appearance from the rarely seen medium pace of Darren Bravo who bowled for just the second time in his first-class career. Root and Carberry had few problems as they compiled their partnership at a steady pace in a match that had lost any semblance of intensity.
The 21-year-old Root, who is often compared to Michael Vaughan, is in the early stages of his Lions career and remains a longer-term project in terms of international recognition. The attack he faced during this innings did not allow many judgements to be made, but neither did he let the opportunity of a lengthy stay in the middle pass him by, which will have been noted. He also made it a good day for Yorkshire following the earlier call-up for Jonny Bairstow to the squad for the first Test.
Root's hundred, like Kieran Powell's yesterday, was just the second of his first-class career and came off 132 balls. He had skipped ahead of Carberry during the latter half of his innings against the comfortable bowling on offer with Shillingford conceding more than four an over.
The Lions had not taken long to wrap up the West Indian second innings after being given a tough day in the field on Saturday with Powell making his stubborn century. However, the home side did add two more dropped catches to their tally during a below-par fielding display. Nick Compton spilled Roach at slip and Root put down Rampaul at short leg both off Matt Coles, but Coles wrapped up the innings to finish with hard-earned figures of 4 for 76.
Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo