England finished this longest-ever home international summer as they started it – with a one-sided ODI hammering of a team who offered little resistance or fight.
Bristol, the epicentre of all the recent off-field troubles this week surrounding Ben Stokes and Alex Hales, was also where this season started for England in what now seem like more innocent times back on May 5.
Ireland were the opponents then and so comprehensive was their defeat that it was sealed before the scheduled mid-innings break.
This might not have been as one-sided, but West Indies were outclassed as England cruised to their target of 289 with 12 overs and nine wickets to spare.
Jonny Bairstow was the architect of this cakewalk, the Test wicketkeeper underling his adaptability and class as a one-day opener with an unbeaten 141 from 114 balls.
Bairstow had started this series at Old Trafford ten days ago with his maiden ODI hundred to set up another easy victory.
But this innings, which helped seal a 4-0 series win for his team, was the highest by any England batsman against West Indies in this form of the game.
It was perhaps apt that Joe Root, whose towering six off Marlon Samuels sealed victory, had the final word of a summer that was his first as Test captain.
What lies ahead during his next assignment in Australia this winter, especially if Stokes is absent, will be a completely different, and infinitely tougher, challenge than this.
Root’s 138-run stand with Bairstow saw England home after Jason Roy fell four short of what would have been his fourth ODI hundred.
Really, though, Eoin Morgan’s team were never really challenged in this match after the tourists posted just 288 for six batting first.
The West Indies innings was a curious one, with two flurries of activity at either end of it in between a funeral march towards an under-par total.
With Tom Curran making an excellent start after being asked to open the bowling on his ODI debut, West Indies were just nine without loss after the first four overs.
However, Chris Gayle, after getting his eye in, took a sudden liking to Jake Ball’s bowling and smashed five sixes in six balls off the Nottinghamshire man’s next two overs to accelerate the scoring significantly.
By the time Gayle departed for 40, West Indies were 52 for one in the eighth over.
The tourists may have been missing Evin Lewis, who broke his ankle during his stunning knock of 176 at The Oval on Wednesday.
But England’s bowlers then applied the handbrake to slow down their opponents’ scoring rate, with Kyle Hope falling in the 15th over to a brilliant caught and bowled dismissal from Liam Plunkett, reducing West Indies to 86 for two.
This came during a period of the game where the tourists went 134 balls – that’s 22.2 overs – without scoring a boundary.
The Windies’ state of paralysis was summed up by frankly awful innings from Samuels, who made 32 from 60 balls before he was stumped off the bowling of Moeen Ali in the 32nd over.
Shai Hope, the best batsmen across all formats during his side’s tour of England, was still there at that stage but signed off with another decent knock under the circumstances.
Hope reached his half-century, in 79 balls, with successive fours in the 39th over.
Jason Mohammed, standing in as captain for the absent Jason Holder who is back home to attend his uncle’s funeral, was the next batsman to fall, holing out to Adil Rashid’s leg-spin and leaving his side on 195 for four after 40 overs.
Hope then departed for 72 when he skied Ball to Sam Billings in the deep, West Indies now 221 for five.
But some late hitting from debutant Sunil Ambris, who made 38 from 27 balls, and Ashley Nurse, with 31 from 12 deliveries, at least took their team’s total close to 300.
That target of 289 was never going to be enough, though, against an England team who would have backed themselves to score something close to 400 on this pitch.
Roy, who had posted 84 during England’s win at The Oval on Wednesday, continued his return to form after coming back into the team for the suspended Alex Hales.
And regardless of Hales’ off-field problems, Roy may remain in the team for some while on the back of another performance that underlined just why England value him so highly when he is in form.
The Surrey opener was sublime in striking 96 from 60 deliveries, including 12 boundaries, before frustratingly falling short of three figures after he was trapped lbw by Miguel Cummins.
But it was an innings that helped England, now 156 for one in the 22nd over, to get off to a flier.
Bairstow had also been keeping the scoring ticking over at the other end, reaching his half-century in 48 balls shortly before Roy’s departure.
Alongside new partner Root, Bairstow continued to make hay as England’s target crept ever closer. His hundred came up off just 90 balls. By then, with just 52 more needed, England’s victory was a formality.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies