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Bridging The Gap
West Indies v England: Eoin Morgan century sets up win for tourists in first ODI
  Saturday 04 March, 2017
West Indies v England: Eoin Morgan century sets up win for tourists in first ODI

First one-day international, Antigua
England 296-6 (50 overs): Morgan 107, Stokes 55; Nurse 2-57, Gabriel 2-58
West Indies 251 (47.2 overs): Mohammed 72, Carter 52, Plunkett 4-40, Woakes 4-47
England won by 45 runs
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.

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.

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.

Source: http://www.bbc.com/sport/cricket/39157006

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