West Indies’ Romario Shepherd plays a shot against England during the first ODI at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, Sunday. – AP
A well-paced unbeaten century from captain Shai Hope shepherded West Indies to a four-wicket victory against England in the first One-Day International (ODI) at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua, Sunday.
Chasing 326 for victory after England had won the toss and opted to bat, the hosts started positively with a century opening stand between Alick Athanaze (66) and Brandon King (35).
But after both were dismissed, West Indies lost their way and looked in danger of collapsing completely.
West Indies were in trouble at 213 for five in the 39th over, after Sherfane Rutherford fell for just six playing a rash shot. However, Hope (109 not out off 83 balls) and Romario Shepherd (48 off 28) took the attack to the English with brave, powerful and stylish shots.
Shepherd was unable to get his fifty or see West Indies across the line as he fell lbw to pacer Gus Atkinson with 24 still needed off 17 balls.
Hope tilted the match entirely in the Windies favour with a dismantling of pacer Sam Curran in the 49th over, smashing him for three sixes in four balls. Curran would finish with messy figures of zero for 98 runs from 9.5 overs.
Earlier, similar to the West Indies innings, England batsmen started brightly with 77 for the first wicket. However, spinners Gudakesh Motie (2/49) and Yannic Cariah (1/76) pulled things back with timely wickets. The latter would consider himself unfortunate after a couple catches were dropped off his bowling.
Harry Brook (71) led the English batsmen while opener Phil Salt (45) and Zak Crawley (48) were also among the runs.