ST JOHN'S, Antigua, Apr 29 (Reuters) Brian Lara guided West Indies to a laboured five-wicket win over Zimbabwe in the first one-day international in St John's today.
With the hosts chasing Zimbabwe's total of 151 for nine, Lara smashed an unbeaten 40 as West Indies reached their victory target with 11.4 overs to spare.
Lara, appointed to his third tenure as captain before the series, faced 43 balls and hit three fours and a six.
Justice Chibhabha top scored with 55 for Zimbabwe after they lost the toss and were put in on a pitch showing signs of dampness.
Captain Terry Duffin's 26 and Brendan Taylor's 25 were the visitors' only other double-figure scores.
Chibhabha, 19, and playing in only his second one-day international, faced 98 balls and hit five fours.
Medium pacer Dwayne Smith, off-spinner Chris Gayle and fast bowlers Jerome Taylor and Dwayne Bravo took two wickets each.
West Indies were reduced to 77 for four in 23rd over before Lara, who demoted himself to number six, took control of the rest with a reassured performance.
He shared a 44-run fifth-wicket stand with Ramdin, who scored 37, for West Indies' biggest partnership.
Off-spinner Prosper Utseya kept the visitors' hopes alive with a probing spell of three for 35 from 10 overs.
Utseya also ran out Ramnaresh Sarwan for 14 in the 12th over with direct hit on the stumps at the striker's end from square leg.
The teams will play the second game in the seven-match series at the same venue on Sunday.
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