Losing wickets at crucial stages cost us, says Hope

By CMC

DUBLIN, Ireland (CMC) — In-form stroke-maker Shai Hope believes West Indies were let down by their batting, leading to their eight-wicket defeat to Bangladesh in the their second match of the Tri-Nations Series here Tuesday.

Choosing to bat first, West Indies were well placed at 205 for two in the 41st over at Castle Avenue but lost seven wickets for 55 runs to lose their way inside the last 10 overs.

Hope, though, was the bright spark with 109 off 132 balls — his second-straight ODI hundred, fourth in eight outings and sixth overall.

“[A par score] is pretty difficult to judge, but I would say anything around 290-300 [would have been good], but we didn’t do as well as we could’ve. Batsmen got out at some crucial stages and it was just one of those days we didn’t get the par score or plus,” the 25-year-old said afterwards.

“It wasn’t the easiest wicket for stroke-play. The line and length from the Bangladesh bowlers was pretty good. At the back end when the runs began to flow a bit more, I had to pick up the ante, but unfortunately, I got out at that stage and that’s probably why we didn’t didn’t get as much runs as we could’ve.”

Hope’s ODI form has been outstanding over the last 12 months and he now averages 50 from 51 innings. During Tuesday’s innings, he became the fastest West Indies batsman to reach 2 000 runs, needing only 47 innings.

The peerless Sir Vivian Richards held the previous mark of 2000 runs from 48 innings.

Hope, who will be a key player for West Indies at the ICC World Cup starting later this month, said while he was satisfied with his form, he was disappointing with the Windies’ latest result.

“Obviously I’m pleased with the runs. I’m trying to be as consistent as possible, so I’m happy with those [runs] but obviously I won’t be pleased with the loss,” he pointed out.

West Indies won their opener last Sunday with a dominant 196-run victory over hosts Ireland — a contest which featured a world-record opening stand of 365 between Hope (170) and John Campbell (179).

And Hope said apart from winning the tournament, the Windies would also be looking to get their final match preparations in for the World Cup.

“We’re just trying to get used to the conditions, the weather will definitely play a part — it’s a lot colder here. Hopefully, when we get to England it will be much warmer,” he noted.

“But it’s just nice to get out, get running, let the guys hit their straps and prepare for the World Cup.”