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Hope hundred hands Windies series lead

June 1st, 2022

Stylish Shai Hope struck an 11th One-Day International hundred to move alongside legends Sir Vivian Richards, Sir Gordon Greenidge and Shiv Chanderpaul, as West Indies made light work of the Netherlands in the opening ODI in Holland on Tuesday.

In frigid temperatures which dipped as low as 11 degrees Celsius at the VRA Ground, Hope carved out an unbeaten 119 from 130 balls, helping the Caribbean side overhaul a target of 247 and win by seven wickets under Duckworth-Lewis.

Shamarh Brooks stroked a typically fluent 60 from 67 balls at the top of the order while Brandon King belted an unbeaten 58 from 51 deliveries, to notch his maiden ODI half-century in his seventh appearance.

The hosts had earlier rallied well to reach 240 for five from their allotted 45 overs, after a 2-¼ hour rain delay  forced a reduction in overs, the weather intervening during the 33rd over.

Teja Nidamanuru, entering at number six, blasted a gallant unbeaten 58 from 51 balls on debut and got support from openers Vikramjit Singh (47) and Max O’Dowd (39) who produced contrasting knocks up front after the Netherlands were sent in.

Left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein (2-29) and medium pacer Kyle Mayers (2-50) finished with two wickets apiece.

“We enjoyed today. We’re happy that we got ten points [in the Super League] and that we got that victory today,” said captain Nicholan Pooran.

“Well done to the guys. I felt like the Holland team were competitive. I thought they batted very [well] in that power-play, so well played to them as well getting 240.

“The wicket was really nice to bat on but I felt like we took long to adjust to the conditions but I think we came back into the game and bowled really well.”

Vikramjit produced the early fireworks for the hosts, the 19-year-old left-hander lashing half-dozen fours and two sixes in a 63-run, opening stand with O’Dowd who counted a single four in a patient 69-ball knock.

When Vikramjit was lbw to Hosein on review in the 12th over, Musa Ahmed (13) joined O’Dowd to add a further 39 for the second before four wickets tumbled for 53 runs, to leave the Netherlands on 155 for five following the break for rain.

However, Nidamanuru showed little signs of nerves, punching three fours and two sixes to post 28 for the sixth wicket with captain Pieter Seelaar (14) and a further 55 for the seventh with van Beek (11), as the hosts gathered 49 runs from the last five overs.

In reply, Hope and Brooks snatched the game away from the Netherlands in an up tempo 120-run stand, which laid the foundation for a comfortable run chase.

Hope struck a dozen fours and two sixes, easing to his first fifty off 68 balls at the start of the 22nd over by pulling seamer Vivian Kingma to the mid-wicket fence, before completing three figures off 113 deliveries in the 37th over.

“I just love to bat so any opportunity that I get, I’m going to try and stay out there as long as I can,” Hope said afterwards.

“The main priority is to get the team over the line and I open the batting so I guess that’s how it works [for me].”

Only Chris Gayle (25), Brian Lara (19) and Desmond Haynes (17) have more ODI hundreds.

Brooks stroked three fours and two sixes but his dismissal, slapping a short ball back to new-ball pacer Logan van Beek (2-49) in the 24th over, triggered a slide that saw three wickets tumble for 13 runs off 19 deliveries.

Off the very next ball, van Beek hit Nkrumah Bonner in front without scoring and a few overs later, Pooran (7) missed a pull at a short one from off-spinner Aryan Dutt and was castled in the 27th over.

King arrived to calm the Windies’ nerves, however, hammering five fours and two sixes in a 116-run, unbroken fourth wicket stand with Hope.

He raced to his fifty off 44 balls but it was Hope who fittingly hit the winning runs, smashing seamer Ryan Klein to the point boundary.

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