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The Windies find Hope

The West Indies have levelled the three Test series with England, having won the 2nd Test at Leeds. This was a dramatic turn around after they lost the first Test by a whopping innings and 209 runs. The West Indies led by 169 on the first innings but batting last, still needed a challenging 322 for victory. Player of the match was 23 year old, Shai Hope, playing in his 12th Test match. He scored a century in both innings (147 and 118*), was not out in the second innings and fittingly, scored the winning runs.

I remember an old joke at school. Primary school. A long time ago. It went something like this: The USA has Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Stevie Wonder. Australia has no cash, no hope and there is no wonder. West Indies cricket has been a little like that for almost 20 years so it’s nice that they finally have Hope. In fact, Shai’s older brother, Kyle, also played in the match so the Windies were going for a double dose of hope. But he hasn’t done much in his two matches.

Having made a great start to the match by dismissing England for 258, the Windies made 427 mostly thanks to Shai Hope and Kraigg Brathwaite (134). England was able to make what I thought, and was proven to be, a sporting declaration on the back of a 114 run 8th wicket partnership. In fact, at seven down, England was only 158 in the lead and the West Indies were in control but it looked like the tail had stolen the match for England.

However on the final day, Brathwaite (95) and Hope set to work again to win the match by five wickets. It’s a shame that Brathwaite didn’t complete the double as well, as two players for the same team scoring a century in each innings of a Test is a rare thing indeed.

The third and deciding Test starts on Thursday, 7 September at Lord’s.