Hope hits superb century in first match as skipper, West Indies take 1-0 lead

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

Shai Hope on Saturday made a magnificent 128 not out in his first One-Day International as West Indies captain to lead West Indies to a fantastic victory and a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

After the first ODI was abandoned without a ball bowled on Thursday, the West Indies and the Proteas made up by putting on a proper show for the cricket fans in East London, South Africa, according to Windiescricket.com.

It said Hope won his first toss as the captain and decided to bat first.

“Although he has been in magnificent form opening the batting for the West Indies in ODI cricket for the past few years, he chose to drop himself down the order to number 4, as Kyle Mayers and Brandon King (30 off 29) opened the batting for the Caribbean men,” Windiescricket.com said.

“They got off to a blistering start in the power play, taking a particular liking to the bowling of debutant Marco Jansen (1-77), before Mayers (36 from 26) was caught at deep mid-wicket,” it added. “Once Hope came to the crease after the fall of the second wicket, he was calm and composed but destructive throughout the 40.2 overs he spent at the crease, facing 115 balls and hitting five fours and seven sixes for his 14th century.”

Windiescricket.com said Hope was supported for long periods, firstly by the former captain, Nicholas Pooran (39 from 41 balls) and then by his vice-captain, Rovman Powell, who 46 runs (49 balls) “at a time when it was crucial for the visitors to rebuild.”

The West Indies eventually amassed 335-8 in their allotted 50 overs – their highest score against the Proteas.

In the second half of the match, Windiescricket.com said South Africa captain, Bavuma and Quinton de Kock (48 (26 balls) started well.

“The latter blasted his way through the first eight overs, hitting five fours and three sixes in a threatening knock, before being trapped LBW by the golden arm of Mayers (1-40),” Windiescricket.com said. “Bavuma played a magnificent innings in front of a noisy East London crowd, eventually ending on 144 (118 balls), which included 11 fours and seven huge sixes.

“Alzarri Joseph (3-53) eventually got his wicket in 42nd over with a bouncer that he edged behind to wicketkeeper Hope – who had four dismissals to add to his century,” it added. “Eventually, the West Indies were able to bowl out South Africa for 287 to win the match by 48 runs.”

“It’s a great start,” said Hope in a post-match interview. “Happy the guys could pull through in the end.  It was important for us to get a good start, obviously we lost the first ODI (to rain) so we have a good chance to clinch the series now.

“A decent debut (as captain) for myself and just really happy the guys could pull through in the end,” he added.