A 16th ODI hundred from West Indies skipper Shai Hope guided his side to an impressive four-wicket victory over England in the series opener in Antigua.
England posted 325 from their 50 overs after Phil Salt initially propelled them to a rapid start reaching 70 after seven overs before a half-century from Harry Brook and a 66-run eight-wicket stand between Sam Curran and Brydon Carse got England up to a competitive total.
Alick Athanaze scored 66 off 65 deliveries to get the West Indies innings off to a good start but after he fell to Rehan Ahmed and Gus Atkinson dismissed Athanaze’s opening partner Brandon King in the following over, West Indies were behind the required rate. England exerted decent control over the middle overs and after the fall of Sherfane Rutherford, West Indies were 213-5 in the 39th over still needing another 113 to win. They eventually won with seven balls left spare.
Hope was the star for West Indies, compiling his 16th – and fastest ODI hundred – as he went through the gears alongside Romario Shepherd, whose explosive 28-ball 48 reduced the required run rate to something that became more manageable. Sam Curran was the bowler West Indies targeted most; he conceded 98 runs from his 9.5 overs, the most runs ever conceded by an English bowler in a men’s ODI. Rehan Ahmed was a bright spark for the visitors, impressing with figures of 2-40 from his 10 overs.
Speaking after the game, Hope credited a conversation he had with former India captain MS Dhoni for shaping his mindset for how he wants to go about ODIs.
“Talking to MS Dhoni, he said ‘you always have a lot more time than you think’,” said Hope. “I have played a lot of ODI cricket, always back myself to win in any position. He [Shepherd] was amazing, one of those guys you can depend on. We got the win, want to continue the series on a high.”
Subscribe to the Wisden Cricket YouTube channel for post-match analysis, player interviews, and much more.