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Eoin Morgan century leads England to winning start in West Indies

Eoin Morgan led from the front with a brilliant century in Antigua
Eoin Morgan led from the front with a brilliant century in Antigua
©WICB
 
Chris Woakes (left) and Liam Plunkett were the heroes with the ball for England
Chris Woakes (left) and Liam Plunkett were the heroes with the ball for England
©WICB
 
Sam Billings scored his second half-century opening the innings
Sam Billings scored his second half-century opening the innings
©WICB
 

England 296-6 (Morgan 107) beat
West Indies 251 (Mohammaed 72) by 45 runs
First One-Day International in Antigua
Scorecard

Eoin Morgan scored a brilliant century while Chris Woakes and Liam Plunkett shared four wickets apiece as England defeated West Indies by 45 runs in the first One-Day International in Antigua to take a 1-0 lead in the series.

West Indies won the toss and decided to field first. Jason Roy (13) scored a couple of boundaries in the third over to get the innings going and was also handed a reprieve in the fifth over when Jason Holder (0-46) dropped him off his own bowling.

Shannon Gabriel (2-58) struck twice in two overs to dismiss both Roy and Joe Root (4) as England were reduced to 38 for two at the end of the first powerplay.

West Indies continued to remain sloppy on the field as Morgan (107) behind the stumps in the 11th over bowled by Carlos Brathwaite (0-54) but Sam Billings (52) upped the ante bit scoring boundaries at regular intervals. The 50-run stand between the duo came off 68 deliveries.

Billings continued his impressive run and notched his second half-century off 53 deliveries but was soon caught at midwicket to give Ashley Nurse (2-57) his first wicket in the game.

The England captain controlled the middle overs well and even smashed Devendra Bishoo (1-49) for back-to-back boundaries in the 25th over as the visitors reached 123 for three at halfway mark.

Nurse once again provided West Indies with the breakthrough dismissing Jos Buttler (14) following which Morgan completed a well compiled half-century which came in the 31st over.

With 15 overs to go in the innings, England were placed 169 for four and Morgan was let off once again by Hope, who dropped him in the 38th over.

Ben Stokes (55), who had a sedate start to the innings hit his first boundary in the 44th delivery he faced as England managed 196 for four in 40 overs. However, both Stokes and Morgan stepped up in the death overs scoring three sixes combined in a span of three overs also bringing the former's fifty.

Even though Stokes fell in the 45th over, Morgan reached his 10th ODI century with a six and helped England post 296 for six in the 50 overs with support from Moeen Ali (31 not out). Gabriel and Nurse were the pick of the West Indies bowlers with two wickets apiece.

West Indies got off to a solid start scoring 36 runs without losing a wicket in the first nine overs. However, Woakes (4-47) struck twice in two overs to dismiss both the openers while Plunkett (4-40) accounted for Kieron Powell (1) to restrict the hosts to 39 for three.

Shai Hope (31) and Jason Mohammed (72) tried to resurrect the innings with a 69-run stand for the fourth wicket. Mohammed was the aggressive among the two as he smashed Ali (0-37) for two boundaries in the 24th over where he survived a review from England for LBW.

Adil Rashid (1-43) provided the breakthrough for England when he had Hope caught at backward point. Mohammed went on to reach his maiden ODI fifty off 63 deliveries and had the support of Jonathan Carter (52), who was looking positive at the other end as well.

With a six and a four in the 34th over, Carter brought down the required run rate to 8.50 which took a steady increase with the fall of wickets.

Carter reached a 44-ball fifty and suddenly West Indies had a glimmer of hope as the death overs were approaching. That's when Plunkett struck twice in two overs to account for both Mohammed and Carter and from there on the visitors hardly recovered and were dismissed for 251 runs in 47.2 overs.

The win has taken England to 1-0 lead in the three-match series with Morgan bagging the player of the match.

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