England opener Michael Lumb hit 106 on debut but the West Indies battled back from precarious situations with bat and ball to seal a 15-run win in the opening One-day International on Friday at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. When left-hander Lumb was flowing, England were favourite to chase down West Indies’ total of 269-6 off 50 overs.
But spinner Sunil Narine claimed 2-36 off 10 overs and captain Dwayne Bravo (1-59) and Ravi Rampaul (1-53) were lethal at the death to limit England to 254-6 off 50 overs and give the hosts a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Bravo had earlier been the savior with the bat, slamming an unbeaten 87 off 91 balls to lift the West Indies from the early peril of 45-4. The 30-year-old, later named Man of the Match, lashed eight fours and a six. Lendl Simmons and Darren Sammy added contrasting half centuries of their own to boost the hosts after a trio of England off-spinners had stalled the early innings.
Simmons compiled 65 off 94 balls and shared a restorative fifth wicket stand of 108 with Bravo. Sammy went berserk in smashing five fours and four sixes in 61 off 39 as he and his skipper added 116 off 62 balls towards the end.
The West Indies blasted 85 runs from the last five overs. Earlier, James Tredwell (10-1-23-1), Joe Root and Moeen Ali each took a wicket as the England slow men stifled the hosts. The series continues at the same venue on Sunday.
Brief scores: West Indies 269/6 ( Bravo 87 not out, Simmons 65,Bresnan 3/68,Tredwell 1/23) beat England 254/6 ( Lumb 106, Ali 44, Narine 2/36, Smith 1/30)
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