Brathwaite, who smashed four sixes off four balls in the final over of Ben Stokes as the Windies won the World Twenty20 final past year, did the damage with the ball this time, taking 3-20 in 3.3 overs.
"There was a little bit of rustiness in everything", he said.
"With bat or ball, that is always the message: have fun, express yourself".
Alex Hales got England off to a great start having lost Jason Roy off the first ball of the innings.
Though Jason Roy was dismissed via the first ball of the England reply, Hales struck 43 from just 17 balls to put the home side in charge.
"I had a chat with a few of the boys in a huddle while Chadwick was getting treatment and majority said it was unsafe", Brathwaite said.
WAFU Cup: Guinea Hold Nigeria To Goalless Draw
The defender said: "We are very optimistic ahead of today's game; we are condemned to beat them because we know Nigerians back home expect the best from us".
"This was probably more challenging; the conditions were hard to deal with and I think the umpires were close to calling it off, but I was pleased with the boys".
"We played West Indies in March and Ben bowled at Carlos.he got him out in the last game".
At one point, police evacuated one of the stands after three spectators were injured in a fall caused by unstable flooring.
The hosts were set 177 to win and looked odds-on to add to their Test series win after racing to 64 for 1 inside six overs. It was a shambolic end to a quite brilliant innings which had brought Gayle 40 runs from 21 balls.
Plunkett continued to check the Windies' progress by removing Lewis, Marlon Samuels and Kieron Pollard in his final two overs, while his Yorkshire team-mate Rashid followed suit in claiming three scalps as the tourists somewhat limped through to 176-9 from the remainder of their allocation.
To some in Durham it was yet another slap in the face from the England and Wales Cricket Board, who took the unprecedented step of relegating the side from the First Division of the County Championship in October and then hit them with a massive 48-point penalty for this season in return for a £3.8 million (4.3 million euros) bail-out that stopped the club going out of business in May previous year.