T20 WC: In battle of hosts, Hope’s blitzkrieg powers West Indies to dominating 9-wicket win over USA

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Bridgetown: West Indies batters put on a sensational display of power-hitting to clinch their first win in the Super 8 of the ongoing T20 World Cup for their nine-wicket triumph over the USA at Kensington Oval on Friday (local time). In what turned out to be a battle between the hosts of the marquee event, the Men in Maroon left the USA dazed.

Coming in place of injured Brandon King, Shai Hope went all guns blazing in the powerplay. Saurabh Netravalkar bowled a tidy first over, but Hope retaliated in the next over with a towering maximum off Nosthush Kenjige. The floodgates opened, and boundaries started to rain in Bridgetown from Hope’s bat. Johnson Charles played the second fiddle and rotated strike on every available opportunity.

Hope’s carnage propelled the Windies to 67/1 in the powerplay in a paltry chase of 129. Hope raised his bat for a 26-ball fifty by smoking the ball into the stand right after the powerplay. In the same over, West Indies lost Charles to Harmeet Singh. The best moment from Hope’s knock was the hat-trick of sixes, clobbering the ball all over the stadium off Milind Kumar in the 9th over.

Nicholas Pooran joined the action and provided the icing on the cake by putting a boundary fest on the exhibition. USA’s trump card Netravalkar fell on the receiving end with Pooran scoring back-to-back sixes. Hope finished off the chase in style by sending the ball sailing into the stand to seal a nine-wicket win with more than nine overs to spare.

Hope ended the match with a quick-fire 82* off 39 deliveries, while Pooran scored 27* off 12 balls. Earlier in the innings, after being put to bat, the USA lost Steven Taylor early in the powerplay. But the presence of Andries Gous ensured that they enjoyed a decent powerplay by putting up a score of 48/1.
Gous and Nitish Kumar looked well-settled while they were at the crease. But West Indies swung the momentum in their favour by breaking the partnership.

Aaron struck a monstrous 101m six, and after that, the USA batting order collapsed like a house of cards. A couple of boundaries from Ali Khan towards the end propelled the USA to 128. Brief Score: USA 128 (Andries Gous 29; Andre Russell 3-31, Roston Chase 3-19) vs West Indies 130/1 (Shai Hope 82*, Nicholas Pooran 27*; Harmeet Singh 1-18).

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