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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Shai Hope’s explosive knock powers Windies to crucial win over USA


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Bridgetown: Shai Hope’s scintillating unbeaten 82 propelled the West Indies to a decisive nine-wicket victory over the USA in their ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Super Eights clash on Saturday IST at Kensington Oval.

Hope, who was brought into the squad to replace the injured Brandon King, seized his opportunity with a commanding performance that saw him smash four boundaries and clearing the ropes eight times. His innings ensured that the West Indies comfortably chased down the target of 128 in just 10.5 overs, significantly enhancing their net run rate and keeping their semifinal hopes alive.

West Indies captain Rovman Powell’s decision to bowl first was vindicated as the bowling attack, led by Roston Chase (3/19) and Andre Russell (3/31), restricted the USA to a modest total. The USA’s innings lacked momentum, with Andries Gous top-scoring with 29, while Nitish Kumar (20), Milind Kumar (19), and Shadley van Schalkwyk (18) provided brief resistance.

The highlight of the match, however, was Hope’s explosive batting display. Opening with Johnson Charles (15), he built a 67 runs partnership for the first wicket, before building 60-odd runs partnership with Nicholos Pooran, who remained unbeaten with 27 off 12 balls, hammering one boundary and clobbering three sixes.

Hope’s knock not only secured a crucial win for the West Indies but also positioned them favorably for their upcoming decisive match against South Africa.

The victory marked the first win for the West Indies in the Super Eights phase of the tournament, setting the stage for a thrilling encounter against South Africa, which will determine their semifinal fate.

In contrast, the USA remain winless in their Super Eights campaign and now face a must-win situation against England on Sunday, hoping for a sequence of favorable results to have any chance of advancing.

Both teams made strategic changes to their lineups, with the USA introducing Milind Kumar and van Schalkwyk, while the West Indies included Hope and Obed McCoy, the latter replacing Romario Shepherd.

Brief Scores: USA 128 in 20 overs; Andries Gous 29, Nitish Kumar 20, Milind Kumar 19; Roston Chase 3/19, Andre Russell 3/31.

West Indies: 130/1 in 10.5 overs; Shai Hope 82* (4 boundaries, 8 sixes), Nicholas Pooran 27* (1 boundary, 3 sixes), Johnson Charles 15.

Result: West Indies won by 9 wickets

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