NORTH SOUND, Antigua and Barbuda - West Indies defeated England by 15 runs in the first one-day international yesterday after the visitors squandered an excellent platform that had put them in position to take the lead in the three-match series.
Replying to the home side's competitive total of 6-269, England were restricted to 6-254 after cruising along merrily at 2-180 in the 37th over.
Michael Lumb hit a fluent 106 on ODI debut, becoming only the second England player after Dennis Amiss to achieve the feat, and enjoyed an opening partnership of 96 with fellow first-timer Moeen Ali (44).
It seemed to ensure that most of the hard work was done in pursuit of a morale-boosting victory following the harrowing tour of Australia.
But just as in the West Indies innings, when the home side plundered 116 runs off the last ten overs, England lost their way in the home stretch, losing 4-31.
"If you look at both innings, we were brilliant for 40 overs and then struggled," said England captain Stuart Broad.
"I wouldn't look too much at the batting. It was the last ten overs with the ball that really hurt us."