Shai Hope's heroics propel West Indies to record-breaking victory against England in the 1st ODI (WATCH)
In a stunning display of cricket action, Shai Hope's remarkable innings, complemented by Romario Shepherd's explosive support, leads West Indies to a historic four-wicket triumph over England in the opening One-Day International series at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
Shai Hope steers West Indies past England in the first ODI with a spectacular innings that spanned 83 deliveries, featuring seven sixes and four fours, ultimately earning him the coveted "Man of the Match" award. His 16th hundred, combined with the explosive support of all-rounder Romario Shepherd, propels West Indies to a historic four-wicket victory in the high-scoring opening clash of the three-match One-Day International series at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua on Sunday. Facing a formidable target of 326 set by the visitors, Hope, serving as the home captain, anchored the innings during a precarious period and then unleashed a barrage of powerful strokes, including three sixes off Sam Curran in the penultimate over, securing an unbeaten 109 and sealing the victory.
This remarkable effort surpasses the previous record of 276 by the West Indies against Sri Lanka in 2021, establishing it as the highest successful run-chase in an ODI at the venue. Hope's stellar performance on the field, characterized by seven sixes and four fours in 83 deliveries, rightfully earns him the "Man of the Match" accolade.
However, the significant role played by Romario Shepherd cannot be overlooked, as he contributed a blazing 48 off 28 balls in a crucial sixth-wicket partnership of 89, rescuing West Indies from a challenging position at 213 for five in the 39th over. Alick Athanaze's 66 at the top of the order and an opening stand of 104 with Brandon King also laid the groundwork for the team's success.
Hope, in his immediate assessment of the match, emphasised the team's goal of winning matches over individual records. He lauded Shepherd's contribution, describing him as amazing and someone the team can always rely on.
On the England side, Harry Brook played a pivotal role in holding the innings together during the middle overs. However, it was the dynamic performances at the start and end of the 50 overs that propelled them to a competitive total of 325 all out. Openers Phil Salt and Will Jacks set the tone with a rapid 77, while Jos Buttler's decision to take first strike paid off. Despite the West Indies bowlers successfully controlling the scoring rate on a two-paced surface, Sam Curran and Brydon Carse revived the tempo with an eighth-wicket stand of 66.
Reflecting on the match, Buttler acknowledged West Indies' fantastic effort with the bat, recognising that it required a special innings to chase down the target, a feat accomplished by Hope with crucial support from Shepherd. With England finding themselves in a must-win situation after a disappointing World Cup defence in India, the stakes are high going into the second match at the same venue on Wednesday.
"It [the century] was in a winning cause and thats all I play for. Happy that we won. I had a chat with MS Dhoni some time back and he told me that you always have a lot more time at the crease than you think and that stuck with me." said Hope