Published: Sun, March 05, 2017
Medical | By Garry George

Morgan, bowlers power England past Windies in first ODI

It was, in the end, a relatively comfortable win for England on Friday in the first match of the three One-Day Internationals (ODI) in the Caribbean.

Liam Plunkett vs West Indies middle order: If Woakes dealt with the top order, it was Plunkett who took care of the middle order.

Mohammed and wicketkeeper Shai Hope then steadied the ship without taking any risks.

Adil Rashid also chipped in with a wicket.

Sam Billings notched his second one-day fifty in a stand of 67 through some smart singles, reverse sweeps and a couple of agricultural clubs.

Both batsmen passed their half centuries in a partnership worth 82 before Plunkett removed the big hitting Carter for 52.

With Plunkett teasing an edge behind from Jason Holder and some nifty footwork from Steven Finn kicking the ball on the stumps to run out Mohammed, it was then down to Carlos Brathwaite to repeat his heroics from the World Twenty20 final a year ago.

After losing the toss and being put into bat first, the tourists lost two early wickets.

Gabriel then got the prized wicket of Root, bowling the right-hander with a quick delivery which jagged back and found the batsman rooted to the crease.

West Indies' last victory in a head-to-head series was in 2007 in England under the leadership of Chris Gayle, one of several prominent players now ruled ineligible for regional representative duty due to commitments to lucrative T20 franchise tournaments around the world.

The left hander who signed off he PSL with unbeaten 80 for Peshawar Zalmi worked nicely with Sam Billings to rebuild the innings.

Off-spinner Ashley Nurse (2-57) and the right-arm Gabriel (2-58) picked up two wickets apiece. He chipped in with the crucial breakthrough of Billings and sent back the risky Jos Buttler cheaply.

Ben Stokes and Carlos Brathwaite will once again revive their rivalry, with the former looking to make amends. And prove he did, as he added 110 runs for the fifth wicket with Morgan of 17.4 overs.

The West Indies had to pull off its second highest run chase to win, and it was too much. Stokes finally fell to an out of sorts Devendra Bishoo for 55 to give the home team a breather.

Woakes, rather than the unused Stokes, ensured this was not to be the case, however, as the 6ft8in all-rounder top-edged into the ring on 12 with 73 from 33 balls still required. Up next was Moin Ali who was the flawless foil for Morgan, nerdling the ball nicely and giving his skipper the strike.

"The wickets will be a little bit more challenging here than in India", said England skipper Eoin Morgan. It was his 5th as captain, going past Aliaster Cook and Andy Struass with four each as captain.

Despite that, the England batting order has some brutal hitting in it and is capable of running up a big score each time, with Jason Roy, Eoin Morgan, Moeen Ali and Jos Butler leading the charge.

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