England win first ODI by two wickets

Chris Read smashed 27 runs off 15 balls to blast England to a two-wicket win over the West Indies in the opening one-day international at Bourda.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:04 IST
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Chris Read smashed three sixes in a 27 off 15 balls to blast England to a two-wicket win over the West Indies in a reduced-overs opening one-day international at Bourda yesterday. The 25-year-old wicketkeeper pasted 18 runs from Corey Collymore's penultimate over as the tourists passed the West Indies' total of 156 for five off 30 overs with three balls remaining. With England needing 21 runs from two overs, Read smacked six, four, six off Collymore's third, fourth and fifth deliveries to tilt the balance in favor of the visitors. With three runs to win off the final over, fastbowler Darren Gough struck the winning stroke after Read was dismissed from the first ball by Chris Gayle. Left-hander Ian Blackwell's 27 off 21 deliveries helped boost England's winning 157 for eight off 29.3 overs. The Somerset man clouted two sixes and one four. Gayle led the West Indian bowling with three for 20 off 5.3 overs. Dwayne Bravo, on debut, was impressive in taking two for 31 off six overs. Shivnarine Chanderpaul earlier spearheaded the home team's batting with 84 off 96 balls. The left-handed opener lashed 11 fours and two sixes. Chanderpaul, the 29-year-old Guyanese national returning to the team after missing the fourth and final test in Antigua last week because of fatigue, delighted his capacity hometown crowd of 10,000 with a dominant display of hitting after a sluggish start. Rain delays start An outfield made soft and muddy by heavy rain Friday delayed the start of the match for four hours and cut the match from 50 overs an innings to 30. England held the upper hand through the first 20 overs as the West Indies struggled to 78 for four. Chanderpaul took 52 balls to muster his first 10 runs before opening out with a volley of strokes that yielded his next 74 runs from 44 balls. He lost opening partner Gayle for 2 to Gough. When Ricardo Powell (10) and stand-in captain Ramnaresh Sarwan (0) fell in Andy Flintoff's first over, the West Indies was struggling at 25 for three. Hard-hitter Dwayne Smith was caught at mid-wicket by Flintoff off medium-pacer Rikki Clarke for 16 and the West Indies were 64 for four and in further trouble. But Sylvester Joseph, the 25-year-old Leeward Islands right-hander in his first one-day international in three years, gave Chanderpaul the support he needed in a fifth wicket partnership of 87 off 68 balls. Chanderpaul was out in the 29th over, hitting a full toss to extra-cover off Gough who marked his return to action after a layoff of 10 months when selectors ignored his experience of 188 wickets in 121 one-day internationals with two for 22 off his allocated six overs. Flintoff had the same figures. The second one-day international in the series of seven matches is at the Queen's Park Oval in Trinidad on Saturday. (AP)