Hope stars again as Windies batter Black Caps in final World Cup warm-up

By ICC Cricket May 28, 2019
Windies  top order batsman Shai Hope. Windies top order batsman Shai Hope.

In-form batsman Shai Hope led a powerful Windies performance at the crease, which saw the regional team pile on 421 to register a 91-run win over New Zealand in the team’s final ICC World Cup cricket warm-up match.

 On a flat surface at a small Bristol County Ground, the smattering of fans on hand was treated to a superb display of hitting as the Caribbean team dispatched the ball to all parts of the ground.

The innings started off with a bang thanks to an opening stand between Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis that was worth 59 runs from just 44 balls, with Gayle doing the majority of the scoring before he fell for a 22-ball 36. Lewis was more sedate, making 50 from 54 balls before he was dismissed by Jimmy Neesham.

Lewis didn’t have to force the pace, thanks to Hope who looked to attack as soon as he walked to the crease. Even with a long boundary to the west of the ground, the West Indies batsmen found no difficulty in clearing the ropes, with 18 sixes in their innings.

The most powerful hitting came from Andre Russell, who scored 54 off 25. One six, smashed towards the Ashley Down Road end of the ground, almost cleared the flats, hitting the building four floors up.

In an innings that was all about big-hitting, it would have been pleasing for the New Zealanders to see Trent Boult take 4 for 50, going at less than a run a ball. He was the one Black Caps bowler who could keep the rate down.

It was always going to be difficult for New Zealand to chase that massive total, but early wickets made the task more difficult. Needing more than eight an over from the start of their innings they stumbled to 33 for 3 in the 10th over with Martin Guptill, Henry Nichols and Ross Taylor all falling cheaply.

A brilliant stand of 120 between Kane Williamson and Tom Blundell would have kept a team in the contest on another day, but here, with the rate steadily rising, even 85 from 64 balls from Williamson and 106 from 89 from Blundell were not enough for New Zealand.

However, runs for Blundell, the stand-in keeper, will be a boost for the Black Caps with injury concerns around Tom Latham. They will kick off their World Cup campaign against Sri Lanka on Saturday, 1 June, while the Windies will take on Pakistan the previous day.

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