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West Indies v England: Eoin Morgan century sets up win for tourists in first ODI

West Indies v England: Eoin Morgan century sets up win for tourists in first ODI

A century from England captain Eoin Morgan set up a 45-run win over West Indies in the first one-day international in Antigua.

Morgan’s 107 from 116 balls and fifties from Ben Stokes and Sam Billings took England to 296-6 from 50 overs, after Jason Roy and Joe Root fell early.

West Indies slipped from 36-0 to 39-3 in their chase and came up short despite Jason Mohammed’s 72.

Liam Plunkett took 4-40, his best ODI figures, and Chris Woakes 4-47.

It was a fine performance by the tourists after losing the toss and being asked to bat first on a pitch that was initially slow with rain delaying the start by 30 minutes.

The second game in the three-match series is at the same venue at 13:30 GMT on Sunday.

Captain Morgan makes Windies pay

Morgan’s place in the England limited-overs team was questioned after he opted out of the one-day series in Bangladesh in October because of security concerns, but he has batted impressively since resuming the captaincy.

He averaged 57.67 in the three games against India in January, scoring 102 in the second match, and brought up his 10th ODI hundred here, a measured beginning the precursor to an attacking end with wickets in hand in the final 10 overs.

Coming to the wicket with England 29-2 in the eighth over, Morgan’s experience – he came into the game with 173 ODI caps, 16 more than the entire West Indies XI – came to the fore as he built alongside Billings (52 off 56 balls) and later Stokes (55 off 61).

He was dropped on four by Kieran Powell at slip off Carlos Brathwaite’s first delivery, and was restricted to nine off his first 30 balls before accelerating.

Morgan punished spinners Ashley Nurse and Devendra Bishoo when they dropped short, with the pull a profitable shot throughout his innings.

Being hit on the helmet by a Shannon Gabriel bouncer did not disrupt him, although wicketkeeper Shai Hope offered him another life with a missed stumping on 69.

After Bishoo removed Stokes following a partnership of 110, Morgan went to his hundred with a six over midwicket off Brathwaite, who should have had his wicket when England were 38-2.

Brathwaite eventually ran out Morgan backing up in the final over as England added exactly 100 in the final 10 overs of their innings.

Plunkett and Woakes do the damage

With big names such as Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard choosing to play in the Pakistan Super League rather than this series, the hosts were hoping their firepower could compensate for a lack of experience.

One-day wins are vital for West Indies, who, despite being World T20 champions, are ranked only ninth in the 50-over format. They need to be eighth or higher by the end of September to ensure they will take part in the 2019 World Cup in England. Any lower and they will have to take their chances in a qualifying tournament.

The chase faltered as Evin Lewis pulled Woakes to Billings, Plunkett induced Powell into a leading edge and Kraigg Brathwaite looped a half-hearted pull off Woakes to Adil Rashid at mid-on within 14 balls.

When Rashid dismissed Hope to leave West Indies 108-4 in the 25th over, their chances appeared extremely slim, but a first ODI fifty from Mohammed and an attacking 52 off 47 from Jonathan Carter revived hopes in a partnership of 82.

An excellent catch diving forward from Roy saw Carter fall to Plunkett, who then induced Jason Holder to edge to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler.

Mohammed appeared to be struggling with cramp late in his innings and was eventually run out when bowler Steven Finn kicked the ball onto the stumps as the all-rounder attempted a quick single.

At 210-7 after 42 overs the game was up and, despite some late blows from Nurse and Bishoo, Woakes and Plunkett wrapped up a comfortable win.

Million dollar man Stokes shows worth again

Stokes’ previous experience of England’s opponents was a painful one as he was hit for four successive sixes by Carlos Brathwaite in the final over of last year’s World T20 final.

The talismanic all-rounder was in the news in the run-up to this series when he became the most expensive foreign signing in Indian Premier League history as Rising Pune Supergiants bought him for £1.7m. He has also been named England’s Test vice-captain.

Stokes showed his increasing maturity by playing a patient innings alongside Morgan from 129-4 after 26 overs. Although he launched three sixes late in his knock, he did not hit a single four but still scored at almost a run a ball.

The 25-year-old did not bowl in the West Indies innings, but Morgan later confirmed he is not carrying an injury.

Analysis

Former West Indies fast bowler Sir Curtly Ambrose on Test Match Special

West Indies did make a fight of it but the top order did not click and put pressure on the middle order.

Kudos to England, they played well. They kept their composure, never lost their focus and are the deserved winners.

What they said – England bowling ‘outstanding’

England captain Eoin Morgan told TMS: “We’ve put in a really convincing performance, having lost the toss and having to bat first on a wicket that was very, very tacky.

“Posting nearly 300 on a wicket like that, I thought was a really good score.

“I thought the bowling performance that backed that up was outstanding, in completely different conditions than we’re used to.

“I’m delighted to score a hundred. Runs that contribute towards a win mean that much more. The one I scored in India, where we lost, this outweighs it by a mile.”

West Indies captain Jason Holder, speaking to Sky Sports: “I feel there were quite a few soft dismissals. All our chances – we could be a lot better.

“If we tighten up in a few areas, limit our extras, hold our chances, I’m not too worried.

“We can see a lot of promise here. It’s a matter of us putting together a strong game and going forward full of confidence.”

courtesy:bbc.com

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