First T20: West Indies dominate series opener against England
Last Updated: 10/03/14 9:52am
Marlon Samuels (left): West Indies all-rounder hit 69 not out and claimed 2-21
Marlon Samuels starred with bat and ball as West Indies won the first T20 international against England by 27 runs in Barbados.
Samuels' 69 not led West Indies to a total of 170-3 after they opted to bat first and he then claimed 2-21 with his off-spin as England finished short on 143-9 in reply.
West Indies' slow bowlers did most of the damage. Leggie Samuel Badree opened the bowling and took 3-17, including Alex Hales and Luke Wright stumped from consecutive balls.
Samuels later dismissed Ben Stokes via the same method and England's run chase had petered out long before the end despite a 24-ball 42 from Ravi Bopara and Tim Bresnan's 47 not out.
The three-match series continues at the same venue on Tuesday.
No 3 Samuels took advantage of being dropped by James Tredwell on 43, the Kent off-spinner therefore spoiling much of his earlier good work.
England, who had selected only Tredwell as a spin option, nonetheless appeared to have feasible prospects of a successful chase on a good pitch.
They made things particularly hard for themselves, however, after Hales and Wright contrived to put Badree on a hat-trick in the third over.
Soon afterwards, Michael Lumb obligingly pulled Badree to deep square-leg, and Jos Buttler was equally compliant when he reverse-swept Sunil Narine straight to point to go for a duck.
It would have been even worse had Badree held on to a fierce straight-drive from Eoin Morgan.
Yet it made little difference - because with Narine off the field having hurt his knee sliding in the outfield, Samuels duly had Morgan well-held on the midwicket boundary.
Stokes was the third England batsman to go stumped, to Samuels.
Despite some assured strokeplay from Bopara, West Indies captain Darren Sammy could even afford to put down a skier at point - Bresnan escaping on three off Ravi Rampaul - and still have plenty of leeway.
When Bopara mistimed a slower ball to be caught-and-bowled by Dwayne Bravo, following through into the leg-side, realistic hope was spent for England in only the 15th over - although Bresnan's career-best, unbeaten effort from No 8 made some of the statistics a little less embarrassing.
After Sammy had won the toss, Chris Gayle and Dwayne Smith gave West Indies an ideal platform in an opening stand of 57 - but Tredwell's canny spell and Bopara's medium-pace kept England in the reckoning.
The home innings got off to a memorable, and ominous, start when Smith pulled Stuart Broad's very first ball on to the roof of the Greenidge & Haynes stand.
There were three fours too in an opening over which cost 19, including a no ball.
Jade Dernbach fared much better initially, finding early swing and beating Gayle with a beauty which almost bowled him for a second-ball duck.
Gayle appeared out of sorts, mustering just three runs from his first 11 balls, until he carved three fours in four deliveries off the previously accurate Bresnan.
It was Gayle who then brought up the 50 in the sixth over with a mighty six over long-on off the expensive Stokes, before Bopara broke the stand when he hit the top of off-stump as Smith tried to shovel to leg.
Gayle remained a grave danger to England until, having conceded one big six to him, Tredwell had him lbw on the back foot.
After the off-spinner bowled 15 dot balls in his four-over spell of 1-16, and Bopara (2-23) had a second wicket - Lendl Simmons caught at long-on - England were restricting the hosts admirably.
Tredwell then dropped a searing chance at cover to reprieve Samuels - after which the number three hit five successive fours off the unfortunate bowler, Dernbach.
The Surrey seamer recovered to concede only five runs in a skilful final over and, despite Samuels' 10 fours and a six from 46 balls, England's bowlers had given the batsmen a chance they were unable to take.