West Indies vs England 1st ODI: Morgan leads the way as England cruise to victory

Morgan celebrates after scoring his 10th ODI century

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England captain Eoin Morgan led by example as he scored a brilliant 107 to lead his side to a 45-run win over the West Indies in the first ODI in Antigua.

Being put in to bat first, England were dealt a double blow early on as Shannon Gabriel took out Jason Roy and Joe Root for 13 and four respectively.

Sam Billings and Morgan calmed things down with a 67-run partnership, during which Billings brought up his half-century. However, he was unable to build on it as he was dismissed by Ashley Nurse for 52, which came off 56 balls and included seven boundaries.

Billings made his second ODI fifty

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Wicketkeeper Jos Buttler could only make 14 runs, but Morgan and Ben Stokes steered the innings back on track with a 110-run stand, during which both players surpassed their half-centuries.

With England having shifted the momentum back in their favour, Devendra Bishoo removed Stokes for 55, which came off 61 deliveries and included three sixes.

Stokes scored his ninth ODI fifty

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Morgan and Moeen Ali kept the runs flowing with a 53-run partnership, during which Morgan registered his hundred, before he was run out by Carlos Brathwaite for 107 off 116 balls, which included 11 boundaries and two sixes.

Moeen ended up making 31 not out as England finished on 296/6 off their 50 overs.

Gabriel and Nurse picked up two wickets apiece, while Bishoo chipped in with one.

Chasing 297 to win, the West Indies found themselves in trouble early on as Chris Woakes and Liam Plunkett sliced through their top order to leave them reeling at 39/3 in the 12th over.

Shai Hope and Jason Mohammed stemmed the bleeding with a 69-run partnership before Hope was sent packing by Adil Rashid for 31.

Mohammed and Jonathan Carter kept their side in contention with an 82-run stand, during which both batsmen recorded their fifties, before Carter became Plunkett’s second victim on 52, which came off 47 balls and included four boundaries and two sixes.

Carter scored a valiant 52

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Captain Jason Holder fell shortly after, while Mohammed was run out by Finn for 72 off 91 balls, which included seven boundaries.

Mohammed’s knock of 72 went in vain

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Even though the lower order batsmen showed a little fight, it was not enough to get the West Indies over the line as they ended up being bowled out for 251.

Woakes and Plunkett took four wickets apiece, while Rashid claimed one.

Holder was disappointed to have lost, and said: “Quite a few soft dismissals, if we’d taken our chances we’d have been better off. We dropped Eoin Morgan early on, but this is a ground where you can make ground back up. Jason and Jonathan got us a good partnership that gave us a chance to launch. It’s a matter of going into the next game full of confidence.”

Morgan, who was named Man of the Match, was delighted to have taken a 1-0 lead in the series, and said: “I’ve enjoyed my cricket more so since before Christmas, some runs in the Big Bash and continued it into India. Enjoyed some luck early on, but made the most of it.¬†What’s pleased me most is we produced everything we talked about before the series. It’s set a high benchmark for the rest of the series.”

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