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How MS Dhoni’s ‘Mantra’ Helped West Indies Star Record Match-Winning Hundred Against England

Following his side’s four-wicket win over England in the first ODI, West Indies captain Shai Hope revealed that he had a chat with MS Dhoni about spending time at the crease for a longer periods, which has inspired him in run-chases over the years. The Caribbean side chased down England’s total of 325 with seven deliveries remaining on the back of a brilliant century from skipper Hope and in the process scored their highest ODI score ever at the iconic Antigua venue.

Following the match, Shai said in the post-match presentation that he has gained inspiration from Dhoni when it comes to run chases in ODIs.

“A very, very famous person, MS Dhoni – we had a chat a while ago, and he was saying, ‘You always have a lot more time than you think. That is one thing that has stuck with me throughout the years I have been playing ODI cricket,” said Hope.

The skipper also lauded all-rounder Romario Shepherd for his all-round performance.

“He was amazing. He is one of those guys you can depend on and he has continued to show his worth at this level… we are starting the series on a high and the aim is to repeat this in the second game,” added the skipper.

However, the skipper said that England’s openers started well and WI will have to bowl better in the starting phase next time.

“Their openers played really well, we need to try to start a bit better in the next game. We also had a few dropped catches, if you want to be the best team in the world, you also have to start playing like the best team in the world. Nice to see the openers taking responsibility, they are both great players. It is about seeing how we can continue to repeat these performances,” he concluded.

Coming to the match, England opted to bat first and scored 325 runs. Openers Phil Salt (45 in 28 balls, with five fours and three sixes) and Will Jacks (26 in 24 balls, with three fours and a six) put on 77 for the opening wicket within nine overs.

But some tight bowling did not allow Zak Crawley (48 in 63 balls, with five fours), Ben Duckett (20 in 23 balls, with four boundaries) and skipper Jos Buttler (3) to go big. England was 191/5 at one point.

Harry Brook counterattacked bowlers despite the fall of wickets at the other end, scoring 71 in 72 balls, with seven fours and two sixes. Later, a 66-run partnership for the eighth wicket between Sam Curran (38 in 26 balls, with three fours and two sixes) and Brydon Carse (31* in 21 balls, with two fours and two sixes) took England beyond the 300-run mark.

Gudakesh Motie (2/49), Oshane Thomas (2/57) and Romario Shepherd (2/77) were the pick of the bowlers as the visitors were dismissed for 325 on the final delivery of their innings.

England still would have fancied their chances of defending the total, but a 104-run stand between openers Alick Athanaze (66 in 65 balls, with nine fours and two sixes) and Brandon King (35 in 44 balls, with four boundaries and a six) spelt trouble for English bowlers.

The 2019 World Cup champions did not count on an inspired Hope smashing seven sixes during a quickfire innings of 109* that turned the momentum of the match towards the hosts. Hope’s innings came from just 83 deliveries and some lofty late hitting from Romario Shepherd (49 off 28 balls, with four boundaries and three sixes) ensured the West Indies claimed the victory much to the delight of the raucous Antiguan crowd.

Spinner Rehan Ahmed (2/40) and pacer Gus Atkinson (2/63) were the pick of the bowlers for England.

Hope was given the ‘Player of the Match’ award for his century. West Indies lead the three-match series 1-0.

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