ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Shai Hope scored a match-winning century and shared a record opening stand with Evin Lewis as West Indies easily beat Sri Lanka by eight wickets in the first CG Insurance One-Day International at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Wednesday.
Hope made 110 from 133 balls with 12 fours and a six as West Indies reached 236-2 off 47 overs in reply to Sri Lanka’s 232 off 49 overs. He added 143 with Lewis, who made 65 with four fours and two sixes – the second a mammoth hit which landed on the roof of the stand at the Sir Curtly Ambrose End.
The partnership was the highest opening stand for West Indies against Sri Lanka – surpassing the previous best of 133 by Sir Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes at Adelaide Oval in 1985. The previous highest in the Caribbean was 115 by Chris Gayle and Johnson Charles at Sabina Park in 2013.
In the last four ODIs, Hope’s scores against Sri Lanka are 115, 51, 72, and 110. This was his 10th hundred — the most by a West Indian wicket-keeper. He joined the list of West Indians to reach this milestone: Chris Gayle (25), Brian Lara (19), Haynes (17), Sir Gordon (11), Sir Viv Richards (11), Shiv Chanderpaul (11) and Marlon Samuels (10).
Hope was named CG Insurance Man-of-the-Match.
“I just had patience and trusted my ability. I made sure I negated the threat that they threw at us. (Wanindu) Hasaranga was the main threat and I think we played him very well. He didn’t get any wickets. It feels great to hit a century. Being away from the game for so long when playing is all you know – it’s just great to be back,” he said.
After Lewis fell, Darren Bravo joined Hope and the pair added 73 for the second wicket before Hope was bowled with the score at 215-2 and victory in sight. Bravo made 37 not out and Jason Mohammed 13 not out to see the home side to victory with three overs to spare.
Earlier, West Indies bowlers were very disciplined and took the last nine Sri Lankan wickets for 127 runs. Openers Danushka Gunathilaka (55) and Dimuth Karunaratne (52) shared a century opening stand while debutant Ashen Bandara hit 50. Off-spinner Mohammed (2-12) and fast bowler Jason Holder (2-39) were the leading wicket-takers.
Highlights available here https://bit.ly/2LQTuxt to Caribbean viewers on West Indies YouTube channel from tomorrow at 4 pm Eastern Caribbean Time/3 pm Jamaica Time.
• Upcoming matches:
• Friday, March 12: 2nd CG Insurance One-Day International at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. The first ball is 9:30 am (8:30 am Jamaica Time)
• Sunday, March 14: 3rd CG Insurance One-Day International at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. The first ball is 9:30 am (8:30 am Jamaica Time)