NORTH SOUND, Antigua, CMC- A defiant century stand between Lendl Simmons and captain Dwayne Bravo rescued a failing West Indies innings and set the platform for a 15 run win over England in the first One Day International (ODI) here today.
.Simmons and Bravo gathered 108 for the fifth wicket as West Indies recovered from 45 for four to a competitive 269 for six at the Sir Vivian Richards stadium.
Dwayne Smith made 24, Kieran Powell 5 and Kirk Edwards 10 as off-spinners, Joe Root, James Tredwell and debutant Moeen Ali, suffocated the West Indies top-order.
Explosive knocks by man-of-the-match Bravo and Darren Sammy powered the Caribbean side after they were labouring at 153 for five in the 40th over.
Èngland, who were well positioned at 180 for three, were restricted to 254-6 off their 50 overs despite opener Michael Lumb having made a century on debut.
While Simmons struck six fours in a knock of 65 it was the former skipper Sammy who changed the complexion of the match completely upon his arrival.
He smashed 61 off just 36 deliveries with five fours and four sixes as England captain Stuart Broad paid a heavy price for returning to his fast-medium bowlers in the final stages of the innings.
Bravo played the captain’s role superbly with his unbeaten 87 (91 balls, 8 fours, 1 six), often competing with the rampaging Sammy in shots during at 116-run sixth-wicket partnership.
West Indies had plundered 85 off the last five overs.
Tim Bresnan topped the bowling with three for 68.
A dream start for England on the chase saw an opening stand of 96 between Lumb and Moeen Ali.
But following Moeen’s (44) and Lumb’s (106) dismissals, England’s run rate was restricted and they lost wickets cheaply.
Luimb’s innings of 106 from 116 balls was the highest by an England one-day debutant and the seventh highest of all time.
Both he and fellow debutant Moeen, 26, also produced the highest opening ODI partnership by debutants, surpassing the previous record of 71 held by Piet Rinke and Terry Duffin for Zimbabwe against Kenya in 2006.
Sunil Narine led the bowling with two for 36.
The next game in the three-match series is on Sunday, again in Antigua.