At Bristol, September 24. England won by 124 runs. Toss: West Indies.
England's margin of victory suggested a mismatch, but that would be misleading. Twice after they were inserted, Morgan's side were in trouble: at 74 for three in the 12th over, after Morgan himself had fallen first ball; and at 217 for six in the 35th, by which time Root had gone past Graham Gooch's record of most international runs in an English season (1,277 in 1990). With two new batsmen at the crease, an imposing total seemed unlikely. Enter Ali, to provide the Bristol crowd with some wondrous entertainment.
Both languid and brutal, he out-hit the hitters, launching eight - mainly leg-side - sixes while moving from 39 to 100 in 14 balls of unmitigated mayhem; in successive overs from Cummins and Holder, the 45th and 46th, he pummelled 48 runs, later describing it all as "a bit of a slog". In 53 balls, Ali had transformed the slog into an art form: it was the quickest one-day international hundred in England, beating Buttler (61 balls) against Sri Lanka at Lord's in 2014, and the second-fastest by an England player anywhere, behind Buttler (46) against Pakistan at Dubai in 2015-16. Woakes contributed a run-a-ball 34 to a seventh-wicket stand of 117 in 12 overs, which set West Indies 370. As long as Gayle remained, anything was possible, and his six sixes kept them in the hunt until Rashid's direct hit from midwicket caught him short on 94.
Rashid and Plunkett, who picked up a career-best five for 52, ran through the rest. At 2.35am, Stokes was arrested on suspicion of committing actual bodily harm following a fracas outside a nightclub, but was released under investigation; Hales, with him at the time, later returned to Bristol to help Avon and Somerset police with their enquiries. Both were suspended for the rest of the series.
Man of the Match: M. M. Ali.