NORTH SOUND – 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 yesterday.
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.
The West Indies lashed 100 runs in the last seven overs with Bravo and Darren Sammy, in particular, in savage mood. Sammy playing in his 109th one-day international, bludgeoned 61 in 36 balls, scoring at a strike rate of 169.
It could not have contrasted more with the opening seven overs that resulted in 33 dot balls. 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.
The home side were just 36 for one after ten overs and had crawled to 57 for four after 20 overs.
Èngland, who were well positioned at 180 for three, were restricted to 254-6 off their 50 overs despite a century on debut from South Africa born Michael Lumb. The 34-year-old Lumb and another debutant Moeen Ali had an olpening stand of 96. This was just the second time that England have had two debutants opening in a One-Day International.
The only previous occasion was their first ever ODI.
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.
Sammy smashed 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 a 116-run sixth-wicket partnership.
West Indies plundered 85 off the last five overs.
Tim Bresnan topped the bowling with three for 68. England opened the bowling with Joe Root’s off-breaks and it worked well, with just nine runs coming off his first four overs. However, his last five overs went for 38 runs.
The West Indies clawed their way back into the match superbly. Following Ali’s dismissal for 44 and Lumb for 106, England’s run rate was restricted and they lost wickets cheaply.
Lumb’s innings of 106 from 116 balls was the highest by an England One-Day debutant and the seventh highest of all time.
Sunil Narine led the bowling with two for 36.
The next game in the three-match series is tomorrow again in Antigua. (CMC/MK)