Jason Roy, Joe Root centuries lead England to six-wicket win over West Indies
England gatecrash Chris Gayle's retirement party to go 1-0 up in five-match series
England 364 for 4 (Roy 123, Root 102) beat West Indies 360 for 8 (Gayle 135, Hope 64) by six wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
England, led by Jason Roy and Joe Root centuries, showed why they are World Cup favourites, gatecrashing Chris Gayle's retirement party and posting their highest successful ODI chase to win the series opener against West Indies in Barbados.
Self-proclaimed "Universe Boss" Gayle bossed the England bowlers around once he hit his stride, smashing 12 sixes as he led West Indies to their highest score against England. But, on an enviable batting pitch and against a line-up as strong as England's, 361 still looked to be an achievable target for the world's No. 1 side.
And so it proved, with Roy's eye-catching 123 off 85 balls setting the tourists up - they had 205 runs on the board by the time he became their second wicket to fall - while Root (102 off 97) and some poor West Indies fielding did the rest to hand England a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.
Roy and Root were dropped twice each and made the opposition pay, much as Gayle did after Roy grassed a sitter early in his innings.
Gayle took a long time to settle in the official start of his ODI swansong, having declared that he would retire from one-day cricket after the World Cup, starting in May.
After 14 overs, Gayle had just 12 runs off 36 balls; by end of the 35th he had faced 100 deliveries for his century. His penchant for clearing the boundary, when it finally came out of hiding, carried him to 135 off 129 balls but also caught on with his team-mates, who added 11 of their own for a world record 23 sixes in West Indies' total of 360 for 8.
After the 10-over Powerplay, however, Roy and Jonny Bairstow had steered England to 88 for 0, well ahead of West Indies' 49 for 1 at the same stage. Bairstow's dismissal, top-edging Holder to wicketkeeper Shai Hope after he had scored 34 off 33 balls, barely registered as a blip.
Root, who like Roy had scored a century in Sunday's warm-up match against West Indies University Vice-Chancellor's XI, slotted in and the batsmen continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
Root brought up 5000 ODI runs - becoming the fourth Englishman to do so - when he pulled a 149kph Oshane Thomas delivery for four.
Roy brought up his ton with a crunching six straight back down the ground off Ashley Nurse. He hit another six in the same over and was dropped in the next by debutant Nicholas Pooran off Devendra Bishoo before surviving a stumping chance in an eventful passage of play. He was eventually out edging Bishoo to a diving Darren Bravo at short third man.
Eoin Morgan contributed 65 runs off 51 deliveries before spooning Thomas to Holder at mid-off and, with Root and Ben Stokes at the crease, England needed 36 runs off 36 balls.
Root brought up his ton with a four off Holder but he was out two balls later, caught at deep square leg off a full toss with scores level. Needing one run off nine balls, Jos Buttler hit a four and England registered the third-highest successful chase in ODI history.
Back in West Indies' side for the first time since their home ODI series against Bangladesh last July, Gayle brought up his 24th ODI hundred with a single off Chris Woakes and soaked up the moment, dropping to his knees, arms outstretched before holding his bat aloft by the toe with his helmet perched on top of the handle.
Gayle initially took a back seat to debutant John Campbell, who compiled a handy cameo of 30 off 28, and he should have been dismissed on 9 when a miscue off Liam Plunkett sailed to point, where Roy dropped a dolly of a catch. Gayle finally looked like hitting his stride shortly after receiving his second chance, smashing Moeen Ali down the ground for six, his 477th in international cricket to pass Shahid Afridi at the top of the list.
Hope - who had already overtaken Gayle after coming in at No. 3 - hit a gigantic straight six off Moeen which landed on the roof of the media centre, some five storeys high. Hope was the first to 50, reaching the mark off 48 balls, the fastest of his eight ODI half-centuries.
On the very next ball, Gayle - who had picked up his strike rate significantly - moved to 49 with a towering 111-metre six off Moeen. He brought up his half-century with a four off Ben Stokes and proceeded to unleash nine more sixes, including two in consecutive balls off both Mark Wood and Plunkett.
Hope's impressive 64 off 65 ended when he top edged a ball from Stokes - who finished as the pick of the England bowlers - to Adil Rashid at third man. Hope had put on a 131-run partnerhship with Gayle off as many balls. Gayle was finally dismissed when he dragged a Stokes delivery on to his stumps but he looked supremely satisfied as he walked off the field to thunderous applause. The showman had returned.