Cricket : Winning Mode

West Indies Shai Hope bats during the Cricket World Cup match between Afghanistan and West Indies at Headingley in Leeds, England. Associated Press / Rui Vieira, file

Source: Caribbean Life
Opener Brandon King struck a second One-Day International century as under-pressure West Indies halted their three-game loosing skid with a convincing seven-wicket against Oman in their penultimate game of the ICC World Cup Qualifiers at the Harare Sports Club in Zimbabwe.

Tasked with chasing 222, West Indies managed to shake off the ghosts of the last two weeks and reel in their target in the 40th over with King top-scoring with exactly 100 from 104 deliveries.

Captain Shai Hope guided his team over the line with an unbeaten 63 of 65 balls, the Caribbean side enduring little discomfort in a straightforward run chase over the Gulf state which only attained ODI status four years ago and is comprised largely of semi-professional.

Batting first, Oman made a fist of it by gathering 221 for 9 from their 50 overs, Suraj Kumar (53 not out) and Shoaib Khan (50) getting fifties, and Kashyap Prajapati (31) and Ayaan Khan (30) chipping in with valuable knocks.

West Indies’ Romario Shepherd bowls during a training session ahead of their first Twenty20 cricket match against India, in Hyderabad, India, 

Fast bowling all-rounder Romario Shepherd, in only his third game of the campaign, finished with three for 44 while medium-pacer Kyle Mayers picked up two for 31.

The points gained from the win were meaningless, however, with West Indies already eliminated from contention for a place at the World Cup in India later this year following their devastating defeat to Scotland recently.

Opener Jatinder Singh and captain Aqib Ilyas both fell cheaply to leave Oman 29 for 2 in the seventh over. Ayaan Khan put on 30 for the third wicket with opener Prajapati and a further 36 for the fourth wicket with Mohammed Nadeem to stabilise the innings.

However, a cluster of wickets, 3 going down for 21 runs left Oman stumbling on 116 for 6 in the 32nd over but Suraj and Shoaib bailed their side out in an excellent stand of 85 for the seventh wicket. Once Shoaib was run out in the 47th over, Oman lost impetus and there was no grand finish.

In reply, Johnson Charles failed again with 4, his fourth single-digit score in the last five outings when he was clean bowled by pacer Kaleemullah in the second over with just 7 runs on the board.

King, hitting 14 fours put on 80 for the second wicket with Keacy Carty, and 96 for the third with Hope who lashed 4 fours and 2 sixes.

King, strolled to his 50 off 47 deliveries in the 17th over before reaching triple figures in the 35th over off 102 balls.

He unfortunately perished four balls later to a catch at the wicket but Hope put the finishing touches on the chase in a 39-run, unbroken fourth wicket stand with Nicholas Pooran (19 not out).

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