Srinagar: West Indies batter Shai Hope has credited former India captain MS Dhoni for the inspiration after leading his side to sensational win in first ODI of the series against England at Antigua.
West Indies created history at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Sunday as they registered a thrilling four-wicket victory over England in the first ODI of their three-game series.
The Caribbean side chased down England’s total of 325 with seven deliveries remaining on the back of a brilliant century from skipper Shai Hope and in the process scored their highest ODI score ever at the iconic Antigua venue.
It was also the West Indies’ second highest successful men’s ODI run chase in their history, just five runs short than the 331/5 they managed when defeating Ireland in Malahide in 2019.
Hope said he gained inspiration from India great MS Dhoni, who was regarded as a master of a successful run chase in ODI cricket.
“A very, very famous person, MS Dhoni – we had a chat a while ago, and he was saying, ‘You always have a lot more time than you think,'” Hope said after the match.
“That’s one thing that has stuck with me throughout the years I’ve been playing ODI cricket.”
It was a massive confidence boost for the West Indies, who failed to qualify for the recent ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in India and are looking to rebuild ahead of co-hosting the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup alongside the USA next year.
Things didn’t look good for the West Indies when England openers Phil Salt (45) and Will Jacks (26) put on 77 for the opening wicket within nine overs, but some tight bowling from Gudakesh Motie (2/49) and Oshane Thomas (2/57) ensured the visitors were dismissed for 325 on the final delivery of their innings.
England still would have fancied their chances of defending the total, but the 2019 World Cup champions did not count on an inspired Hope smashing seven sixes during a quickfire innings of 109* that turned the momentum of the match towards the hosts.
Hope’s innings came from just 83 deliveries and some lofty late hitting from Romario Shepherd (48 off 28 balls) ensured the West Indies claimed the victory much to the delight of the raucous Antiguan crowd.
“He’s one of those guys you can depend on and he’s continued to show his worth at this level… we’re starting the series on a high and the aim is to repeat this in the second game.”
The second match of the three-game ODI series is on Wednesday, with Antigua once again the venue.