Images courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Bravo and Sammy demolished England’s bowling attack
West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo and all-rounder Darren Sammy helped their side draw first blood in the first ODI against England in Antigua by hammering rapid half-centuries and taking one wicket each.
Bravo and Sammy were well supported by batsman Lendl Simmons, who also scored a half-century.
However, England opener Michael Lumb deserves a lot of credit as well as he smashed a stunning century on debut.
England captain Stuart Broad would have been grinning from ear to ear following his decision to bowl first as West Indies opening batsman Kieran Powell was brilliantly caught by Chris Jordan at short extra cover off the bowling of Joe Root for just five runs.
Dwayne Smith managed to make 24 runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of James Tredwell.
Broad reviewed the decision immediately after the on-field umpires believed that wicketkeeper Jos Buttler had not taken the catch cleanly.
The replays showed that Buttler had in fact taken the catch cleanly and the third umpire overturned the original decision.
Kirk Edwards failed to have an impact with the bat as he was clean bowled by Tim Bresnan for 10 runs.
Darren Bravo fared no better as he was given out lbw off the bowling of debutant Moeen Ali for only two runs.
Bravo reviewed the decision, but replays showed that the ball was going on to hit the leg stump, which led to the third umpire upholding the original decision.
Simmons and Dwayne Bravo stemmed the bleeding with a 108-run partnership, during which Simmons brought up his half-century, before he was caught by Ali off the bowling of Bresnan.
Simmons’s fantastic knock of 65 came off 94 balls and included six boundaries.
Bravo and Sammy kept the runs flowing with a 116-run partnership, during which both batsmen registered their half-centuries, before Sammy was caught by Broad at cover off the very last ball of the innings.
Sammy was dismissed for 61 off 36 balls, which included five boundaries and four sixes, while Bravo remained unbeaten on 87 off 91 deliveries, which included eight boundaries and a six.
Bresnan was the pick of the England bowlers with three wickets, while Root, Tredwell and Ali chipped in with one wicket apiece as the West Indies finished on 269/6 off their 50 overs.
Chasing 270 to win, England got off to a brilliant start as Ali and Lumb put together a 96-run partnership, during which Lumb brought up his half-century, before Ali was caught by Sunil Narine at long-on off the bowling of Smith for 44.
Luke Wright only made one run before he was caught by Dwayne Bravo at midwicket off the bowling of Sammy.
Lumb and Root stabilised the innings with a 74-run partnership, during which Lumb brought up his maiden ODI century, before he was caught by Dwayne Bravo off the bowling of Ravi Rampaul.
Lumb’s outstanding knock of 106 came off 117 balls and included seven boundaries and two sixes.
All-rounder Ben Stokes only made five runs before he was clean bowled by Narine.
Root ended up making 37 runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of Narine.
Buttler scored 12 runs before he was caught by Jason Holder at mid-off off the bowling of Dwayne Bravo.
Despite a valiant 43-run partnership between Ravi Bopara and Bresnan, England ended up falling 15 runs short of their target.
Narine was the most successful bowler with two wickets, while Bravo, Sammy, Rampaul and Smith picked up one wicket each.
Broad was disappointed that his side had faltered towards the end of their chase, and said: “I’d say up to 40 overs we were fantastic, certainly the first 30. We conceded 100 off the last seven [so] credit to West Indies batsmen but we need to get better.
“We probably didn’t react to conditions as well as we could. It’s not all doom and gloom. It was a huge achievement for Michael Lumb on debut. I wouldn’t look too much at the batting, it’s the last 10 [overs] with the ball that hurt us. It’s about cutting out mistakes with the ball.”
Bravo, who was named Man of the Match, was ecstatic to have started the series on a high note, and said: “It was a great team effort. We didn’t start well, but then Simmons and myself laid a platform.
“Over 250 we back our bowlers. In the last 15 I told the guys we would win the game. Narine had five overs. We know once the run rate starts to go up it will be difficult. If we hold our nerve we will win. We can improve, definitely.”