In a fashion reminiscent of MS Dhoni, Shai Hope showcased his prowess in hitting sixes, orchestrating a historic triumph against England and catapulting West Indies to an early 1-0 lead in the series. Mirroring the iconic Dhoni style, Hope played a crucial role in a dramatic victory over England, allowing West Indies to claim a 1-0 series lead.
The pursuit of 326 runs saw Hope smashing his 16th ODI century, steering his team to victory with four wickets in hand and seven balls to spare. With 19 runs needed off 12 balls, the Windies, with Hope at the crease, were the favorites. Despite the potential challenge from Sam Curran’s penultimate over, reminiscent of Arshdeep’s defense against Australia in Bengaluru, Hope defied expectations by hammering three sixes in four balls, securing an emphatic win.
The aftermath witnessed West Indies celebrating their highest successful ODI chase against England, and Hope expressed his gratitude to MS Dhoni, acknowledging the invaluable words of wisdom that guided him through this challenging chase.
Shai Hope Stated: “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’. That’s one thing that has stuck with me throughout the years I’ve been playing ODI cricket.”
Drawing parallels to Dhoni’s ability to finish matches from precarious situations, Hope, with three earlier sixes, steered the game deep, delivering when needed and steering West Indies to victory. A crucial partnership with Romario Shepherd, who contributed 49 runs with four fours and three sixes, played a pivotal role. Despite a break in their stand, Hope, the 11th West Indies captain to surpass 5000 ODI runs, capitalized on the conditions, ensuring a truly memorable triumph for the Windies.
The dimensions of the field and then the wind factor there, I thought the best thing to do was to target that particular over. We knew it was a challenge to score from the other end, especially going against the breeze… regardless of what happened, I was going to try and take down that second-to-last over to give us the best chance of winning the game,”
“After the second [six of the 49th over], I knew we pretty much had the game in the balance. If we had that over to finish the game, I always try to finish the game with one over to spare if I can. I don’t want to leave it to anyone else, so the aim was to finish off at the back end.”