A century on debut from Michael Lumb proved in vain as Dwayne Bravo’s West Indies defeated England by 15 runs in the first One-Day International of the series at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground at North Sound in Antigua today.
Chasing the hosts’ 269 for 6, England’s opening partnership of debutants Lumb and Moeen Ali (44) put on 96 for the first wicket.
But once Lumb was dismissed for 109 from 117 balls with the total on 180 for 2, wickets fell regularly as the required rate spiralled and West Indies eventually held out for a fairly comfortable win.
Earlier, Bravo made 87 not out, Lendl Simmons 65 and Darren Sammy 61 from 36 balls at the death to lift their side to a competitive total after they had slumped to 45 for 4 in the 16th over.
The England openers appeared to have put their side on course for victory despite Moeen chipping a catch to long on off Dwayne Smith and Luke Wright mustering only a single before pulling his ninth ball straight to midwicket
Lumb stayed the course until the 37th over, his trademark powerful stroke-play centering on drives down the ground and flashes through the off side and his 109-ball hundred containing seven fours and two sixes.
He became the ninth batsman in ODI history to make a century on debut, and just the second for England.
But after Lumb carved a catch to cover off Ravi Rampaul, England’s middle order succumbed to the mounting pressure from the West Indies bowlers, skillfully managed by captain Barvo.
The introduction of Sunil Narine’s unconventional off-breaks was too much for Ben Stokes, bowled round his legs sweeping, and Joe Root, who gloved a catch behind trying a similar shot. Theirs were two critical wickets with Root in particular losing his wicket when well set on 37.
Jos Buttler holed out in the off-side ring and, in his 100th ODI, Ravi Bopara could not quite come to terms with requirements as the home seamers took the pace off the ball.
The Windies were put in and spooked by early spin, but finished with a flourish thanks to Bravo and then Sammy’s whirlwind 50 from only 33 deliveries.
Sammy hit five fours and four sixes as 116 runs were plundered in the last 10 overs.
By contrast, England had made all the early running.
The experiment of opening the bowling with Root worked a treat as the part-time off-spinner’s first spell read 5-1-13-1.
James Tredwell was then a like-for-like but frontline replacement for Root at the pavilion end, and he too soon struck – as did first-change Tim Bresnan (3 for 68).
Smith hit Root for a towering six over long off in his second over, but otherwise the Windies could not get started.
Kieran Powell tried to drive Root on the up but fell to a brilliant diving catch by Chris Jordan at short cover.
It took Tredwell only three deliveries to see off West Indies’ other opener, Smith, edging on to his pad and wicketkeeper Buttler scampering round to take another diving catch in the leg side. Smith was originally given not out but a review by England revealed a clear edge onto the pad. He made 24.
Kirk Edwards did not convince and eventually missed an attempted drive at Bresnan, playing with a closed bat face, and was bowled off-stump for 10.
When Moeen turned one from round the wicket to make Darren Bravo his first international victim, lbw, the hosts appeared to be in danger of faltering permanently. Bravo reviewed the decision but the ball was subsequently shown to be crashing fully into the leg stump.
But captain Bravo and Simmons had other ideas in a crucial fifth-wicket partnership that yielded 108 runs.
Bravo took 36 balls to reach double figures and Simmons’ cut for four off Tredwell was the only boundary in almost 20 overs.
It was a period of necessary caution, but the powerplay brought 41 runs and the wicket of only Simmons – backing away against Bresnan to try to beat the off-side ring but managing only to loop a low catch into the wind.
If that was not a percentage shot, almost all of Bravo’s were in a 74-ball 50 which contained just three fours.
As Stuart Broad restricted himself to only six overs, Jordan’s line struggled badly in the cross-wind.
He ended up bowling an extra over in wides and Root’s ninth and final over cost 23, as some typically robust hitting from Sammy ensured England would have to bat very well after all.
Lumb did just that, but his more experienced teammates could not follow the rookie’s example.
D Smith c Buttler b Tredwell 24
K Powell c Jordan b Root 5
K Edwards b Bresnan 10
Darren Bravo LBW Ali 2
L Simmons c Ali b Bresnan 65
Dwayne Bravo* not out 87
D Sammy c Broad b Bresnan 61
Total: 269 for 6 (50 Overs)
Extras: (lb 4, w 10, nb 1) 15
Did not Bat: D Ramdin+, J Holder, S Narine, R Rampaul
Fall of Wickets: 1-19 (Powell, 6.2 ov), 2-38 (Smith, 10.4 ov), 3-40 (Edwards, 11.4 ov), 4-45 (DM Bravo, 15.4 ov), 5-153 (Simmons, 39.5 ov), 6-269 (Sammy, 49.6 ov)
England Bowling: Joe Root 9-2-47-1, Stuart Broad 6-1-35-0, Tim Bresnan 10-1-68-3, James Tredwell 10-1-23-1, Moeen Ali 6-1-25-1, Chris Jordan 9-2-67-0.
M Lumb c Dwayne Bravo b Rampaul 106
M Ali c Narine b Smith 44
L Wright c Dwayne Bravo b Sammy 1
J Root c †Ramdin b Narine 37
B Stokes b Narine 5
J Buttler+ c Holder b D wayne Bravo 12
R Bopara not out 23
T Bresnan not out 14
Total: 254/6 (50 Overs)
Extras: (b 1, lb 2, w 9) 12
Did not Bat: C Jordan, S Broad*, J Tredwell
Fall of Wickets: 1-96 (Ali, 19.3 ov), 2-106 (Wright, 22.1 ov), 3-180 (Lumb, 36.6 ov), 4-192 (Stokes, 39.2 ov), 5-205 (Root, 41.5 ov), 6-211 (Buttler, 42.6 ov)
West Indies Bowling: J Holder 4-0-27-0, R Rampaul 10-0-53-1, S Narine 10-1-36-2, Dwayne Bravo 10-0-59-1, D Sammy 10-0-46-1, D Smith 6-0-30-1.