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Hope eyeing series-clinching win

(CMC) – West Indies captain Shai Hope said his side will be pushing hard to win the second one-day international against England today in Antigua and not let the hard work they have put in to prepare for the series go to waste.

The Caribbean side led the three-match series 1-0 after they completed their highest successful run chase of 326 to clinch a four-wicket win in the first ODI this past Sunday at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, where the second match will also be played. “We had some very good preparation done leading into the series, and it is now about topping up after we have put ourselves in a solid position to win the series,” he told reporters on the eve of the match. “It will be great to go up 2-0 and obviously win the series.

“Every time you cross the line and go onto the field, your main focus has to be to win. Every time we play cricket matches for the West Indies, it’s so much more than just development, which is, yes, a big thing for us, especially in this situation that we are faced with, but we are 1-0 up in this series, and the main focus right now is to win.”

An insider video of Hope congratulating his side in the dressing room after the win revealed him reminding them they had not achieved the ultimate objective because the series was not yet won and West Indies teams of the recent past had won series openers and then failed to follow up.

“I thought the start (to our innings) was very good,” he added. “It’s something that we speak about time and time again. The opening partnership was amazing, but we need to make sure that we stop losing wickets in clusters.

“Going forward, we need to build on the kind of start we had, especially in a series like this. When you have the upper hand, we need to make sure we replicate those solid batting performances and learn from our mistakes.”

He added, “Something I highlighted even before we went out to chase the runs. A lot of the time, we find ourselves only winning matches when we chase 180, 190, or 200, so we need to make it on a more consistent basis that if you want to be an elite team, you have to be chasing scores of 300 or higher as well.

“We also must remember that we have more time than we think in the innings, and this is the perfect opportunity to build from this game, and it certainly should give our batters some confidence that we can chase scores like that, but we have to make sure we are doing things better and better each day, and we can grow as a team.” A cause for concern for the West Indies will be the bowling, with their five main bowlers conceding a minimum of 60 apiece in their 10-over allotment.

“After the kind of start they got, we needed someone to control things a bit in the middle overs,” Hope said. “Motie did that in the last few overs of the Power Play, but it was nice to see that we did not let that score go from 325 to 370.

“It would have been a whole different ballgame, and it was nice to see the bowlers come back and fight the way they did, especially taking wickets at crucial stages, so that England did not have the impetus they normally would have at the back end of the innings. Pleasing signs to see from the bowlers.”

England showed glimpses of their destructive batting line-up in the last match, but they were unable to back it up with their bowling, which cost them the opening match.

Having had a few days to work on their shortcomings, a better performance will be expected from the visitors, and they will be gunning to level the series. A major positive was the performance of teenaged legspinner Rehan Ahmed, after he put the brakes on the Windies batting when the pacers appeared to get little help from the pitch that clearly favoured the batting side.


WEST INDIES (from): Shai Hope (captain), Alzarri Joseph (vice-captain), Alick Athanaze, Yannic Cariah, Keacy Carty, Roston Chase, Matthew Forde, Shimron Hetmyer, Brandon

King, Gudakesh Motie, Kjorn Ottley, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd, and Oshane Thomas.

England (from): Jos Buttler (captain), Rehan Ahmed, Gus Atkinson, Harry Brook, Brydon Carse, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Ben Duckett, Tom Hartley, Will Jacks, Liam Livingstone, Ollie Pope, Phil Salt, Matthew Potts, and John Turner.

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