England won a thrilling first women’s one-day international against West Indies by five runs in Montego Bay.
Defending 149 on a slow surface, England took three wickets for no runs to reduce the hosts to 100-7.
Shemaine Campbelle (23 not out) edged West Indies close, but Katherine Brunt (3-24) took two wickets in two overs to bowl West Indies out for 144.
Danielle Wyatt earlier made 44 to drag England from 62-5 as the tourists were bowled out in the final over.
The second game in the five-match series takes place on Monday, again at the Trelawny Stadium.
For England, victory comes in Heather Knight’s first overseas match since replacing Charlotte Edwards as captain.
In Knight’s first series in charge, England whitewashed Pakistan 3-0 in both ODI and Twenty20 series, but World T20 champions West Indies represented a higher class of opposition.
That they claimed the win was down to the recovery work of Wyatt and Amy Jones (20), followed by an exceptional display with the ball.
Brunt caps bowling display
England’s total felt short of par, and looked increasingly so when West Indies openers Hayley Matthews and Shaquana Quintyne added 53, benefiting from pace on the ball.
But they were both removed by 17-year-old debutant left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone, either side of West Indies captain Stafanie Taylor retiring hurt.
England’s quartet of spinners continued to make inroads while the big-hitting Deandra Dottin threatened at the other end, joined by Taylor who returned at the fall of the fourth wicket.
Dottin holed out off Brunt for 29 and when Alex Hartley removed both Taylor and Anisa Mohammed lbw with no further addition to the score, England were firmly in control.
Campbelle and Afy Fletcher, though, took up the fight with a stand of 23 before Fletcher was trapped in front by Laura Marsh.
With tension rising and home noise increasing, West Indies edged ever closer, only for Brunt to return to pin both Shamilia Connell and Erva Giddings lbw, sparking animated England celebrations.
Wyatt work rescues England
England’s decision to bat first on a surface seemingly set to deteriorate looked to be an advantage, but the touring top order initially struggled to adapt to the conditions on a stiflingly hot day.
Medium-pacer Dottin accounted for Tammy Beaumont, Georgia Elwiss and Knight for a golden duck, before Lauren Winfield and Nat Sciver fell to the spin of Fletcher and Mohammed respectively.
It was left to Wyatt, who made 90 in a practice match on Thursday, to rebuild, the right-hander sweeping and running well in a stand of 45 with Jones.
After Jones was caught behind off the off-spin of Taylor, it looked like Wyatt would accelerate in the final 10 overs, only to hole out to cover off Fletcher after making her highest ODI score.
It fell to Brunt to make 17 in the company of the tail and, when she became the last wicket to fall, England just about had enough.
What they said
England pace bowler Katherine Brunt: “I feel like it’s one of my top two or three bowling performances ever.
“It was a tacky surface, quite slow, and people know I’m renowned for swinging the ball. In terms of being a seamer, everything was against you so you had to be clever.
“Before we came out to field, we said not to look lightly on the score. There’s things to work on but, today that was the best we could manage. We put a score on the board, then rallied as a team. It was a brilliant team effort.
“We have a really supportive group of girls. The youngsters come in and feel welcome from the start, which is not always how it’s been. Long may that continue.”
BBC Test Match Special will have ball-by-ball commentary on England’s one-day international series in West Indies, with live text commentary on the BBC Sport website.
Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/37597335