NORTH SOUND - Some contentious dismissals affect the flow of a match more than others. The dismissal of Dwayne Bravo will rankle with the West Indies more than most if England level the series by winning the second ODI in Antigua. At midway they were certainly well positioned to do just that.
From the moment TV umpire Marais Erasmus ruled that Jos Buttler's stumping of Bravo was legitimate, West Indies' flow silted up like a Somerset river. It came the ball before the compulsory Powerplay and, instead of marching into it with two batsmen set - Bravo and Lendl Simmons - they reached it at 133 for 5, once again consumed by doubt. Five more wickets followed with only 26 added, England's debutant left-arm spinner Stephen Parry finished as a satisfied recipient of three wickets and the last man out, Ravi Rampaul, illustrated the collapse of West Indies' intent, who, with more than five overs left, holed out at long-off against James Tredwell.
The on-field umpires had turned to Erasmus when Bravo was drawn down the pitch by Tredwell and Buttler lost the ball in the process of completing the stumping. Buttler conceded that he was unsure when the ball had escaped his grasp and TV replays seemed maddeningly inconclusive, but not so for Erasmus who ruled Bravo was out. Ottis Gibson, West Indies' coach, did not hide his exasperation, rising from his laptop to hold out his hands towards the middle in disbelief.
The next crucial intervention was Parry's. Simmons, as he had on Friday, had played judiciously and when he struck Parry over long-on for six, the stakes were ramped up. Parry held his nerve, the next ball was a touch shorter, and Simmons' half-hearted attempt at a repeat fell to Ben Stokes, the wider of two men in the deep. As West Indies fell away, Parry picked off Darren Sammy at short midwicket and had Sunil Narine stumped, this time a fail-safe affair from Buttler.
Parry is very much a one-day specialist, having played only six first-class matches by the age of 28, although 11 wickets in eight List A matches last season was hardly justification of his selection which owed much to England's determination to use the entire tour, 50 and 20 overs alike, to discover a blend ahead of World Twenty20 in Bangladesh. But he acquitted himself well, showing none of the qualms suffered by another Lancashire slow left-armer, Simon Kerrigan, on his Test debut against Australia at The Oval last season.
The first half of the innings had less to commend it. For those who missed the first one-day international in Antigua, West Indies and England made a decent effort at staging a repeat. England again managed four wickets by halfway on a turgid pitch, West Indies' top order played with a bit more energy, but effectively the outcome was the same: a collection of spin bowlers drawing suspicion from West Indies' batsmen as they wheeled away to good effect.
Any England fans wandering in belatedly from a beach bar would not have been overly concerned at missing the sight of Joe Root, Moeen Ali and James Tredwell appearing as a trio of offspinners by the 11th over, although they would have been diverted by the unusual sight of Tredwell operating to two leg slips in an ODI, and they would have wanted to be settled in by the time that Parry sent down his first over in international cricket.
A scoreboard showing 30 for 3 in the ninth over again gave early control to England. Two lacklustre chips by Dwayne Smith, Root picking him up at short midwicket, and Kieron Powell, knocking a return catch to Moeen, were offerings gladly accepted, but Root's dismissal of Kirk Edwards owed much to a fast catch by Tredwell at slip as the batsman tried to force through the offside.
What rare moments of release there were came against Tredwell, with Simmons twice cracking him through the covers and Darren Bravo hoisting Tim Bresnan straight for six. But England's control was reasserted when Stuart Broad angled one in at Bravo from around the wicket and he dragged on an attempted cut shot.
But Dwayne Bravo, West Indies' matchwinner in the opening ODI, discovered that a fast bowler worth his salt can be a dangerous proposition on the slowest of surfaces. Broad dug in a bouncer when Bravo had made only a single and Bravo, turning his head away and taking the blow on a combination of helmet and neck, needed treatment before he could resume.
West Indies also turned to a slow left-armer, in their case the Jamaican Nikita Miller, on a reused surface, on which England's captain, Broad, rightly reckoned had gone from "tacky" to "a bit more tacky." It made for some disengaging cricket, the sort of match that needs artificially awakening by Powerplays and slogs at the death. The Caribbean needs some pace in its pitches.
There was heartening news for England in the improving fitness of both Eoin Morgan and Alex Hales. Broad did not entirely rule out the possibility that one or more of them might take part in the final ODI in Antigua on Wednesday. "Good news maybe for Wednesday, certainly for Barbados," he said.

Scoreboard

WEST INDIES:
D Smith c Wright b Root    5
K Powell c and b Ali    16
K Edwards c Tredwell b Root    9
Darren Bravo b Broad    13
L Simmons c Stokes b Parry    70
Dwayne Bravo st Buttler b Tredwell    20
D Sammy c Broad b Parry    3
D Ramdin b Bresnan    5
N Miller not out    2
S Narine st Buttler b Parry    4
R Rampaul c Lumb b Tredwell    1
EXTRAS: (lb5, w6)    11
TOTAL: (all out, 44.2 overs)    159
FOW: 1-10, 2-30, 3-30, 4-81, 5-133, 6-145, 7-151, 8-151, 9-155, 10-159
BOWLING: Root 5-0-15-2, Broad 8-0-25-1, Ali 3-0-11-1, Tredwell 9.2-2-39-2, Parry 10-1-32-3, Bresnan 5-2-13-1, Bopara 2-0-6-0, Stokes 2-0-13-0
UMPIRES: R Tucker (AUS) and J Wilson (WIS)
TV UMPIRE: M Erasmus (RSA)
MATCH REFEREE: A Pycroft (ZIM)