Chris Woakes and Liam Plunkett claimed four wickets apiece to help confident England overcome the West Indies in their opening one-day international contest at Antigua's Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Friday (3 March).
Jason Mohammed top-scored for the hosts with 72 runs and Jonathan Carter added 52 but it was not enough to avoid defeat as Stuart Law's significantly weakened but battling side, missing a host of players including Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Bravo, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons and Kieron Pollard, were bowled out for 251. That was 45 short of their target.
Yorkshire all-rounder Plunkett particularly impressed with the ball, finishing with career-best ODI figures of 4-40. Woakes ended a satisfying day on 4-47, with Adil Rashid also claiming one wicket for 43 and Steven Finn producing some nimble footwork to run out Mohammed.
Having been put into bat after a rain delay of 30 minutes, England closed their 50 overs on 296-6. Eoin Morgan, crucially dropped by Kieran Powell on four, enjoyed a starring role after opener Jason Roy and new Test captain Joe Root combined for only 17 and Sam Billings gave his wicket away cheaply on 52, bringing up his 100 in just 112 deliveries.
A 10th ton saw Morgan become only the third man to record 2,000 runs as England ODI skipper. He has also now moved clear of Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook to record the most ODI centuries of any England captain. The 30-year-old, who made 102 in a losing effort against India in January, was eventually run out by Carlos Brathwaite for an unbeaten 107 to leave his team on 292-6 with three balls remaining.
"I'm enjoying my cricket," Morgan told Sky Sports after the match. "Today I had a little bit of luck along the way, but I managed to take it and make the most of the opportunity. I felt like I was batting with a stump for a while, it was that hard to get yourself in, but we managed to get a score up to around a run-a-ball.
"Everything we've talked about pre-series we've produced today. It was a very convincing performance with ball and bat – it has set the benchmark for the series and hopefully we will continue on the upward curve."
Ben Stokes added 55 for England before being caught by Holder at long-on off the bowling of Devendra Bishoo. Moeen Ali was not out for 31 on his 50th ODI appearance, while a short knock from Buttler was ended on 14 following a terrific catch from Carter.
The teams will now remain in North Sound for the second match, which takes place on Sunday (5 March). The three-game series wraps up at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados on 9 March.