Sammy, Bravo shine for Windies

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iol news pic Antigua England West Indies Cricket~24 AP West Indies' Dwayne Bravo plays a shot for four runs of England's Chris Jordan as Darren Sammy looks on during their first one-day international cricket match at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in St. John's, Antigua. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda - An explosive assault by Darren Sammy and Dwayne Bravo over the final 10 overs lifted the West Indies to a competitive 269 for six against England in the first one-day international at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Friday.

Labouring at 153 for five in the 40th over as the tourists' trio of slow bowlers exploited helpful conditions, Sammy changed the tenor of the match completely upon his arrival.

He smashed 61 off just 36 deliveries with five fours and four sixes as England captain Stuart Broad paid a heavy price for returning to his fast-medium bowlers in the final stages of an innings that was decidedly pedestrian though the first 35 overs.

Bravo played the captain's role superbly with his unbeaten 87

(91 balls, 8 fours, 1 six), at times matching the rampaging former skipper shot-for-shot during at 116-run sixth-wicket partnership that lifted Caribbean spirits on and off the field.

By the time Sammy fell to the final ball of the innings, 85 runs had been plundered off the last five overs.

Tim Bresnan claimed that final wicket but he, together with Barbadian-born Chris Jordan, suffered the most at the hands of the rampaging pair, conceding 135 runs in a combined 19 overs.

This contrasted sharply with the returns of the off-spinners, Joe Root, James Tredwell and debutant Moeen Ali, who suffocated the West Indies top-order to the extent that they were struggling at 45 for four in the 16th over when Bravo joined Lendl Simmons.

Playing positively, but still carefully, the pair put on 108 for the fifth wicket before Simmons, who finally ended his run of low scores against England dating back some five years in getting to a workmanlike 65, perished to a catch at cover attempting a lofted drive off Bresnan.

His demise ushered in the former skipper Sammy, whose ultra-aggressive approach saw England wilting in the midday heat.


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