West Indies v England, 1st ODI, Antigua February 28, 2014

Lumb hundred in vain as England collapse again


West Indies 269 for 6 (Bravo 87*, Sammy 61, Simmons 65, Bresnan 3-68) beat England 254 for 6 (Lumb 106, Moeen 44, Narine 2-36) by 15 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Dobell: England's damage self-inflicted

Not since Dennis Amiss against Australia more than 40 years ago had an England batsman made a century on his ODI debut. Michael Lumb achieved that in Antigua, an England Twenty20 specialist given an unexpected opportunity at the age of 34. No matter, you might say, West Indies still won, and deservedly so. But if it did not quite smack of the new era that England had trumpeted, it was quite a story all the same.

Lumb was only in the squad because England have decided to use this West Indies tour, ODIs and T20s both, as a prelude for World Twenty20 in Bangladesh. He only played because Alex Hales was injured. When he was dismissed for 106, coming down the pitch to loft Ravi Rampaul to cover, England got all in a tizz over the remaining task of 90 in 78 balls with seven wickets left and succumbed by 15 runs. The turgid surface did not make it a breeze, but Lumb provided an invitation for victory that was not taken.

Sunil Narine's spin-bowling wiles did the damage - his 2 for 36 more decisive than it sounds. Lumb read him, not everybody did. Moeen Ali's smoothly-made 44 on debut faltered against Narine and finished with a tame chip to long on against Dwayne Smith. Joe Root and Ben Stokes both fell to Narine via malfunctioning sweep shots. In Ravi Bopara's hands, on his 100th ODI at only 28, the challenge died.

On the balcony, England's coach, Ashley Giles, scribbled furiously, who knows what? "Can't pick Narine," was surely there somewhere: perhaps even underlined.

There was even drama for Lumb on 99. Darren Sammy, whose buccaneering 61 from 36 balls, alongside Dwayne Bravo's judicious 87 not out, had allowed West Indies to post a substantial target of 270, stood at the top of his run, clutching his chest. As the physio checked him out, questions abounded in the crowd: back spasm, heart trouble? Sammy recovered enough to remind West Indies' fielders to be on the single for the next ball, but Lumb got one through cover and celebrated in the mistaken belief that the match was heading England's way.

As new eras go, to watch the ball disappearing into orbit as West Indies smacked 85 from the last five overs on a turgid pitch - a surface on which England's finale became so inhibited - ensured that the new era would have a false start. The smiles, if a good place to start the post-KP era, are superficial; England's inner psyche remains that of a beaten side.

It was time for England to draw a line, many had urged, as they tried to come to terms with life after Kevin Pietersen. Some, perhaps influenced by the Caribbean scenery, had called for lines to be drawn in the sand.

Logicians preferred straight lines, Blondie fans wanted parallel lines, teachers naturally insisted upon 100 lines by start of school tomorrow and one could imagine that all over Antigua, council workers were drawing white lines, levying parking fines on unsuspecting motorists and pleading that England had told them to do it.

But the most controversial lines were on the pitch. The original pitch markings have long been superseded for additional guidelines for judging wides in one-day cricket, but as Tim Bresnan discovered when he was twice wided in conceding 16 off an over, even bowling within those is no longer regarded as acceptable.

England, who are searching for a survival mechanism at the death, were tactically bowling wide of off stump at that stage so it was imperative, rather than petulant, that Broad, skippering England in this series, sought an explanation from the umpire Marais Erasmus. He heard nothing to comfort him. That said, West Indies' late hitting was spectacular and overwhelmingly won what has increasingly become a loaded tactical battle between bat and ball. And West Indies suffered in similar fashion later.

If Broad's reliance on Bresnan went awry in mildly debatable fashion, his decision to risk Root's offspin so late in the innings was also a dubious choice. Root's first eight overs had relinquished only 24, with the wicket of Kieron Powell to boot, but Sammy delightedly heaved him for two sixes and two fours as his ninth over cost 23.

England gave the new ball to Root and, instead of a solitary over, which used to be his lot playing Twenty20 for Yorkshire, he stayed on for five overs, conceded only 13 runs, and picked up the wicket of Powell courtesy of an outstanding reaction catch at short extra by Chris Jordan, who dived to snatch the ball an inch off the ground.

Smith fell tamely when James Tredwell became the second offspinner to make an impact, the ball popping into the leg side off bat and pad whereupon Jos Buttler scuttled around from behind the stumps to take a catch upheld on review.

Bresnan also intervened, bowling Kirk Edwards off his pads, another indication of a lack of pace in the pitch. It was a promising opportunity for Moeen to purvey some debut offspin and he, too, took a wicket in only his second over, having Darren Bravo lbw; Bravo's attempt to overturn the decision by recourse to the third umpire coming to naught.

West Indies recovery began with a hard-working stand of 108 in 25 overs between Dwayne Bravo and Lendl Simmons, who escaped a tough stumping opportunity on 30, and who had made 65 from 94 balls when he was deceived by a slower ball from Bresnan. What had been witnessed was a normal recovery, but Bravo shifted from orthodoxy to innovation at exactly the right time, Sammy puffed out that big chest of his and the unfettered assault that followed in the closing overs will concern England. 1-0 down: two to play.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Bella on March 2, 2014, 14:47 GMT

    Vivek Shan, totally agree! It is Sammy who made the game what it was. Wayne Campbell, I don't know if you actually got to watch the game live from the stadium but I was there and it was Sammy who captained the game, not Bravo. It was Sammy who also bowled brilliantly and batted superbly, not Bravo...still wondering why Bravo got man of the match.

    Why is Sammy so underated, is it because he is a genuine and good person who has cricket at heart?

  • Android on March 2, 2014, 11:24 GMT

    ENGLANDEXPECTS get this into your psychi. An opponent is only weak on paper. In the heat of battle winning is achieved by him who persists. On their current form why would you interperate WI vs ENG with their new experinental team as anything more than two evenly matched sides? The fact the the WI having seen their results from India and NZ boosted by the NZ vs India matches gives them extra confidence that they can carryon with ENG where AUS left off. Your name does imply and insular view.

  • Dummy4 on March 2, 2014, 6:29 GMT

    Good job Windies! We showed a lot of character. Stayed focused and strategic in throughout!

    Only goes to show how good we can be when we maintain a can do mentality no matter the odds stacked against us!

    Bravo's leadership of the ODI squad is improving and he seems to be entering a new level of mental maturity not being as impulsive and/or over adventurous in both his batting and bowling as was the case before.

  • Srinivas on March 2, 2014, 3:04 GMT

    Congrats to West Indies on their victory. Not surprised that England is losing matches with this consistency. Something is not right with England and India.

  • Dummy4 on March 2, 2014, 2:58 GMT

    The last 3 games WI won in any format, came due to major contributions from Sammy. This one, the ODI Win in India and a T20

  • Dummy4 on March 1, 2014, 20:19 GMT

    The repurcussions of dropping Pieterson is showing up and it wont be long until they ask for him to represent England again. Also well done Moeen on your debut.

  • david on March 1, 2014, 18:16 GMT

    How can England be considering Ashley Giles as their Director of cricket. He should be sacked immediately from his position as limited overs coach. We are losing match after match from winning positions against poor opponents. Once again the same old problem, lose a couple of wickets so we stop scoring and let the rate build up to eleven an over, then when its to late and with four wickets in hand realise we better try and hit a few boundaries. England are playing boring, negative cricket in all formats. Results will not turn around until we get positive and attack.

  • Dummy4 on March 1, 2014, 17:51 GMT

    Lots of people talked about how ENG let the game slip away from them in both innings after great starts... no mention about WI holding their nerves after bad starts to finish both innings well.

  • Dummy4 on March 1, 2014, 15:58 GMT

    Glad England lost. Ever since they sacked Pietersen, I want them to lose every game this year until they beg him to come back. Nice hundred from Lumb though.

  • Jon on March 1, 2014, 14:44 GMT

    Another dismal display with the same old problems. No death bowling and we get clattered in the final overs and lack of power hitting means we can't chase anything above 240. We have deteriorated into a seriously poor side.