North Sound (Antigua), March 1 (IANS/CMC): Lendl Simmons (65), captain Dwayne Bravo (87 not out) and Darren Sammy (61) rescued a failing West Indies innings to set up a 15-run win over England in the first of the three One-Day Internationals (ODI) here.
Simmons and Bravo added 108 for the fifth-wicket as the West Indies recovered from 45/4 and then the skipper put on 116 for the sixth-wicket with Sammy to give the side a competitive 269/6 at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium Friday.
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 Sammy powered the Caribbean side after they were labouring at 153/5 in the 40th over.
Èngland, who were well positioned at 180/3, 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 his knock, it was former skipper Sammy who changed the complexion of the match. 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 pacers 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 their partnership which saw 85 runs come off the last five overs. Tim Bresnan topped the bowling with 3/68.
A dream start for England on the chase saw an opening stand of 96 between Lumb (106) and Moeen Ali (44). But once the two were dismissed, England’s run rate was restricted and they lost wickets cheaply.
Lumb’s knock of 116 balls was the highest by an England ODI 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.
Spinner Sunil Narine led the bowling with 2/36.
The next game will be played here Sunday.
Brief scores: West Indies 269/6 (Dwayne Bravo 87 not out, Lendl Simmons 65, Darren Sammy 61; Tim Bresnan 3/68) beat England 254/6 (Michael Lumb 106, Moeen Ali 44, Joe Root 37; Sunil Narine 2/36)