Southampton, Jun 17: Ian Bell marked his return to England's one-day side with a stylish century as they beat the West Indies by 114 runs under the Duckworth/Lewis method in their ODI series opener on Saturday in Southampton.
Man-of-the-match Bell, given the task of filling the opener's spot vacated by Kevin Pietersen following the South Africa-born batsman's retirement from white ball internationals, responded with 126 in an England total of 288 for six made after the hosts lost the toss.
Dwayne Smith looked to be making up for the absence of big-hitting opener Chris Gayle whose much anticipated international return after 15 months out following a spat with West Indies cricket chiefs was delayed by a shin injury.
However, when Smith was out for 56 it was the start of a slump that saw the toursists lose their last nine wickets for 77 runs. West Indies, who were 127 for five off 23 overs when rain stopped play, were set a revised target of 287 in 48 overs after two were lost during the 71-minute stoppage.
But the tourists, who had high hopes of winning this series after a 2-0 defeat in the preceding three-match Test campaign, finished on 172 all out as England went 1-0 up with two to play ahead of Tuesday's match at The Oval.
Tim Bresnan, who led England's attack with four wickets for 34 runs, finished the match with more than 14 overs to spare when he had last man Sunil Narine well caught by diving wicket-keeper Craig Kieswetter.
Bell's hundred was only the 30-year-old's second in his 109 one-day internationals, with his 126 not out against India in 2007 also made here at the Rose Bowl.