Bravo leads Windies fightback

Bravo leads Windies fightback

Tim Bresnan, left, celebrates a wicket with Ben Stokes, right (AP)

Lendl Simmons struck 65 for the Windies (AP)

First published in National Sport News © by

Captain Dwayne Bravo engineered a brilliant West Indies recovery in the first one-day international after England had spooked their hosts with early spin.

The Windies, put in at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, faltered to 45 for four in the 16th over but went on to reach 269 for six, thanks to Bravo's century stands with Lendl Simmons (65) and then Darren Sammy (61).

Sammy's whirlwind 50 from only 33 deliveries contained five fours and four sixes as 116 runs were plundered in the last 10 overs, and Bravo finished unbeaten on a near run-a-ball 87.

England, anxious to get a 'new era' off to a winning start after Ashes misery and its significant aftermath this winter, made all the early running.

The experiment of opening the bowling with Joe 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.

Dwayne 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 Jos Buttler scampering round to take another diving catch in the leg side.

Kirk Edwards did not convince and eventually missed an attempted drive at Bresnan and was bowled off-stump.

When Moeen Ali 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.

But their captain and Simmons had other ideas in a crucial fifth-wicket partnership.

Dwayne 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 a telling flourish came in a powerplay which 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 - before he fell to Bresnan with the final delivery of the innings - ensured England would have to bat very well to win after all.

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