West Indies v England: Dwayne Bravo hails ‘great team effort’
West Indies v England: Dwayne Bravo hails a "great team effort" as the hosts are comfortable winners in Antigua
Dwayne Bravo said “words couldn’t explain” their outstanding performance after the hosts beat England in the first one-day international in Antigua.
Bravo played an influential role, with an unbeaten 87, and contributing to a pair of century partnerships with Lendl Simmons and Darren Sammy (65 and 61) – to post a target of 270.
Once we got to 250 or more I would always back our bowlers to defend that
They looked set to be heading for defeat as the tourists made a strong start, with Michael Lumb notching 106 but Stuart Broad’s team fell short by 15 runs.
Despite his individual brilliance being a key factor in the reversal of fortunes, the skipper was quick to acknowledge the contribution of his teammates.
“A great team effort,” said Bravo.
“We didn’t get the start we wanted as a batting group but me and Simmons laid a foundation for Sammy to do his natural thing. And once we got to 250 or more I would always back our bowlers to defend that.
“The couple of overs I bowled at the top end contributed well, Ravi Rampaul was our best bowler at the end so I always had confidence in the boys if we kept picking up wickets.
“Michael Lumb played very well, they missed Morgan who is a key player but we’ll look forward to Sunday’s game.”
Being asked to field first, the hosts made a poor start and went down to 45-4 as they struggled to deal with England’s unusual tactic of using three spin options inside the first 15 overs.
It was Bravo’s presence at the crease and his work with a pair of capable partners in Simmons and Sammy that turned the contest on its head though.
Unbelievably, they made 116 from the final ten overs as Broad’s team imploded.
Unlike his skippering counterpart, Bravo preferred a conventional approach to his opening bowlers, with little-and-large pace pair Ravi Rampaul and Jason Holder but it failed to pay dividends.
It was the wicket of Moeen Ali and Luke Wright that gave them the momentum as both departed in quick succession.
The batting collapse – an all to common sight for the visiting fans – reared its ugly head as Ben Stokes, Root, Jos Buttler and record-breaking Michael Lumb all fell shortly after.
Even after some huffing and puffing at the end from their opponents, the bowlers kept their cool and the hosts came out on top, with the Windies picking up a third victory of 2014 in this format.