May 13 2012
Joe Root bagged a century as England Lions surged to a 10-wicket victory at Northampton to send West Indies into the first Investec Test at Lord's with little to cheer.
Root (115 not out) and Michael Carberry (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.
Root's share brought him his second first-class hundred and it was 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.
They had defied expectations on Saturday, when Kieran Powell and Shivnarine Chanderpaul helped them wipe out a mammoth first-innings deficit but the tail lasted barely 30 minutes and after bowling their opponents out for 390, the Lions moved with the minimum fuss to 61 without loss at lunch.
Without strike bowler Kemar Roach - who took a blow on his right hand batting against Stuart Meaker in the 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.
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 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 had needed 96 balls to post his 50 but more than doubled his boundary count to 14 as he scooted to three figures in only 36 more.
Matt Coles (four for 76) struck twice in the morning to finish off the West Indies' second-innings resistance for the addition of only 13 runs.