Hope career-best century levels series for Windies

Shai Hope goes on the attack during his unbeaten 146 in the second ODI against Bangladesh on Tuesday.

DHAKA, Bangladesh, CMC – Elegant Shai Hope struck a superb career-best hundred to headline a successful West Indies run chase, as the Caribbean side edged Bangladesh by four wickets in the second One-Day International, to level the three-match series here yesterday.

Under pressure throughout the innings and losing partners, the 25-year-old showcased not only his class but maturity as he unfurled a high-quality unbeaten 146 off 144 balls, as the Windies overhauled a moderate target of 256 with two balls to spare at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.

All told, he stroked 12 fours and three sixes, notching his second century in six one-day innings and the joint second-highest individual score for West Indies in a successful ODI chase.

Hope enjoyed little by way of support as veteran right-hander Marlon Samuels chipped in with 27 and left-hander Darren Bravo got 26, but no other batsman passed 20.

However, Hope found a cool head in 20-year-old Keemo Paul, with whom he fashioned a pivotal unbroken, 71-run, seventh wicket stand which hauled the Windies over the line.

Paul spent 31 balls at the crease for his 18, and it was he who struck the winning runs when he pulled off-spinner Mahmudullah to deep mid-wicket for a couple. Bangladesh had earlier stuttered to 255 for seven off their 50 overs with top-ranked all-rounder Shakib-al-Hasan top-scoring with 65 and Mushfiqur Rahim (62) and Tamim Iqbal (50) also punching half-centuries.

Fast bowler Oshane Thomas, playing only his fourth ODI, finished with three for 54.

West Indies, who lost Sunday’s opener by five wickets, will now travel to Sylhet for the series finale at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium on Friday.

Opting to bowl, West Indies tasted early success when Thomas had Imrul Kayes taken behind by Hope in the fourth over without scoring with the score on 14, after opener Liton Das had retired hurt in the second over.

Bangladesh then assumed control of the game as Tamim and Mushfiqur put on 111 for the second wicket which kept the hosts ticking along at over five runs an over.

The left-handed Tamim struck four fours and a six off 63 deliveries while Mushfiqur counted five fours in a patient 80-ball knock.

They fell within 20 balls of each other with seven runs added, Tamim holing out to mid-wicket off leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo and Mushfiqur edging a cut behind off Thomas.

Shakib then rode his luck in a stroke-filled innings, putting on 61 for the fourth wicket with Mahmudullah whose 30 came from 51 balls and included three fours.

The left-handed Shakib struck six fours and a six in a 62-ball innings, providing crucial momentum early in last power-play. On 46, he tugged Thomas to captain Rovman Powell at mid-wicket in the 45th over, only to be reprieved by a no-ball.

He cleared mid-wicket in the resulting free hit to raise his 40th half-century in ODIs, before becoming the last batsman out in the 48th over, bowled by seamer Kemar Roach.

In reply, West Indies were pegged back as early as the second over when left-hander Chandrapaul Hemraj played down the wrong line to off-spinner Mehidy Hasan and was lbw for three with five runs on the board.

However, Hope then anchored a couple of key partnerships to get the Windies’ noses in front, putting on 65 with Bravo for the second wicket and a further 62 with Samuels for the third wicket.

The stylish right-hander played himself in, scoring just seven runs from his first 24 deliveries before exploding with an imperious straight hit off seamer Mustafizur Rahman (2-63) for six in the ninth over.

He added another six – another straight hit this time off captain and pacer Mashrafe Mortaza – as he marched to his half-century off 67 balls in the 24th over. Hope lost Bravo, bowled round his legs by pacer Rubel Hossain (2-57) in the 17th over and Samuels, feathering a catch through to the keeper off Mustafizur at the end of the 33rd.

And when Shimron Hetmyer (14), Powell (1) and Roston Chase (9) also followed cheaply, West Indies were 185 for six after 39 overs and in danger of losing their way.

Unfazed, Hope completed his second fifty off 51 balls, raising three figures for the third time in his career when he punched Mashrafe to deep over in the 41st over. Even when the required run rate climbed from six to 10, Hope kept his wits about him, rotating the strike and frustrating the Bangladesh bowlers.

With 32 runs required from 18 balls, he flaunted nerves of steel with a straight six off Rubel at the start of the 48th over, and smashed three boundaries in the following over off Mustafizur which cost 16 runs, leaving West Indies with a mere six runs to get off the final over.

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