England 210 for 3 (Bairstow 100*, Root 54) beat West Indies 204 for 9 (Holder 41*, Stokes 3-43) by seven wickets
Manchester: England opener Jonny Bairstow’s maiden one-day international century ensured West Indies suffered a seven-wicket defeat at Old Trafford on Tuesday that meant they could no longer gain direct entry into the 2019 World Cup.
West Indies, the 1975 and 1979 World Cup champions had to win this five-match series 5-0, or 4-0 with a tie or no result, to avoid the indignity of going through qualifying for the next edition in England in two years’ time.
But Bairstow’s 100 not out saw England easily chase down a meagre target of 205 in a match reduced to 42 overs per side by a wet outfield as the hosts went 1-0 up with 67 balls to spare.
Earlier, West Indies struggled to 204 for nine after a promising opening stand of 45 in 5.3 overs between Chris Gayle (37) and Evin Lewis (11).
Stokes took three for 43 with only Holder's 41 not out ensuring the tourists got past 200.
Holder's decision to bat first meant big-hitting opener Gayle was straight into the action for his first ODI since the 2015 World Cup following a dispute with Caribbean cricket chiefs.
Gayle should have been out for a third-ball duck when he edged a drive off Chris Woakes only for second slip Root to drop the catch.
Jamaica left-hander Gayle cashed in by driving David Willey for two sixes in an over.
But off-spinner Moeen Ali broke the opening stand when with just his third ball when Lewis pulled a long hop to Hales at square leg.
West Indies were soon 53 for two when Gayle, whose 37 had come off just 27 balls including two fours and three sixes, skyed a drive off Woakes and Root, atoning for his earlier error, held an excellent catch over his shoulder running back.
Shai Hope and the returning Marlon Samuels steadied the innings with a third-wicket partnership of 53 in a sedate 15 overs as the ball often plugged in the outfield.
Hope, however, fell for 35 when he pulled Stokes hard and flat only for Bairstow, playing as a specialist batsman in this match, to hold an excellent leaping catch at deep midwicket.
Stokes then got the better of longstanding antagonist Samuels when the batsman was caught behind down the legside on review for a subdued 17 off 46 balls.