• UWI Vice Chancellor's XI v England XI

Root hits ton but Corbin makes visitors work

ESPNcricinfo staff
February 26, 2014 « O'Sullivan and Robertson cruise in Newport | Chartbeat test »

England XI 290 for 8 (Root 104*, Stokes 58) beat UWI Vice Chancellor's XI 261 for 7 (Corbin 105, Tredwell 3-39) by 29 runs
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Joe Root lifted England to a total that proved enough despite Kyle Corbin's ton © Getty Images
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Joe Root warmed up for the one-day series against West Indies with an unbeaten 104 but England were given a scare by Kyle Corbin, who struck a powerful century, before they wrapped up a 29-run win at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.

After compiling 290 for 8 on the back of Root's hundred, England made steady inroads into the UWI Vice Chancellor's XI once they broke a half-century opening stand and appeared to have the game completely in hand. However, 23-year-old Corbin, who has a List A average of 13.43, added 103 with Devon Thomas, who has played 21 ODIs, to give the VC XI an outside chance of reaching their target.

Thomas was bowled by Stuart Broad to bring relief to England but Corbin reached a 98-ball century and it was only when he found short third man off Tim Bresnan that the visitors were absolutely assured of not suffering an upset.

Root hit nine boundaries in run-a-ball stay as he anchored the innings from No. 4 following a brisk opening stand of 58 by the new-look pair of Alex Hales and Luke Wright.

In Australia, Root lost his place in the one-day side for two matches before returning for the final game in Adelaide where he hit 55, and this innings assures him of another run in the team as England look to begin the rebuilding after a debilitating few months.

With England's focus very much on Twenty20, regular one-day openers Alastair Cook and Ian Bell have remained at home so Hales is in line for his ODI debut on Friday. Wright was given the first opportunity to be alongside him, ahead of Michael Lumb or Moeen Ali, and struck the ball cleanly before finding deep cover.

Hales top-edged a pull to be caught and bowled after playing himself in then Root and Ben Stokes (58) added 68 in 12 overs. Stokes continued in the No. 3 role that he was promoted to during the one-day series in Australia and cleared the boundary four times before falling to Miguel Cummins, the pace bowler who made his ODI debut against Ireland at the weekend.

England's middle-order strokemakers, Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler, could not get going, both falling lbw to legspinner Akeem Dewar. When Ravi Bopara fell to Raymon Reifer England had lost 4 for 50 and the innings was threatening to fizzle away.

However, Root and Bresnan added 62 in seven overs for the seventh wicket, Root dominating the partnership as he moved towards three figures.

Chadwick Walton and Adrian Barath gave the VC XI a steady start before James Tredwell struck with his first ball when Walton pulled a long hop to long-on and then had Paul Palmer caught at slip. The same bowler-catcher combination came together for a third time to remove Barath when Jordan was back at long-on.

When Broad and Bopara claimed a wicket apiece the VC XI were 143 for 5 and it appeared a formality for England, but Corbin kept them on their toes.

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