Joe Root's century against Vice Chancellor's XI in Antigua boosts England
Joe Root's first hundred of a tough winter, and a much-needed overdue victory, finally gave England a reason to smile.
Last Updated: 26/02/14 7:50am
Root (104no), who has not reached three-figures since his 180 in last summer's Ashes Test at Lord's, was the backbone of England's 290-8 in their warm-up match against a Vice Chancellor's XI at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
But the tale did not end there, thanks to the unheralded Kyle Corbin's 105 - only the 23-year-old's second century in any professional cricket, in his 59th match - which made England sweat long into the evening.
James Tredwell (3-39) and two crucial wickets from captain Stuart Broad eventually gave England the edge as the hosts closed on 261-7.
Root, dropped during England's miserable Ashes winter, insists there was no self-doubt at the start of this tour - but on the other hand, his century was the perfect way to make a fresh start.
Asked if he felt as if he had rediscovered some lost form, the 23-year-old said: "A little bit. I never worried too much about that. I knew I was always going to come back.
"It was never really a massive worry, just a fresh start here on this tour and really knuckling down and getting back to making some big runs.
"The key is to continue and build on this, and make sure I go on and become more consistent and can be relied upon on more occasions.
"To get runs early on in a tour gives you a lot of confidence for what's to come."
England's confidence is intact too, yet must have been starting to feel a little fragile during Corbin's hectic sixth-wicket stand with Devon Thomas.
"You've got to give credit to Corbin," added Root. "He played exceptionally well.
"(But) you know the class of our bowlers, and I'll back them all the time."
Another defeat, from an apparent winning position, would have been all England needed - having had that same sinking feeling when they lost a one-day international by just a solitary wicket to some mesmeric hitting from Australia's James Faulkner in Brisbane at the start of the year.
"If you might be alluding to Faulkner back in Australia, those things don't happen very often," said Root.
"I think we did learn from that game, and we're going to have to continue to do that throughout the tour.
"I'm sure we'll take a lot of confidence from this as a side, and will go into (the first one-day international against West Indies on) Friday with that.
"We hope we can create a bit of a habit now for the rest of this tour and start something off."