Hope: Windies focused on levelling series
HAMBANTOTA – Despite heading into today’s second match of the One-Day International (ODI) series one down, West Indies is not overly worried and will be focused on levelling the series, says batting star Shai Hope.
Hope, whose ninth ODI century was not enough to take Windies to victory in the nail-biting opening match last Saturday, said while they would have preferred a win, the one-wicket loss has been taken in stride.
“I still think we’re in good stead. I don’t think it is much to worry about. Yes, it is one loss; we don’t’ want to lose any games in cricket but that’s how it goes sometimes,” the wicketkeeper/batsman said ahead of a practice session yesterday.
“It’s a three-match series. We have what we really need to do in front of us and we know that Sri Lanka is not going to let it happen, so we’re going to make sure that we put our best foot forward and make sure we do what we need to do to win these next two games.”
The match, which will be played under lights, will be the first ODI at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium in over two years.
Hope, who averages an outstanding 91.88 in 21 innings as an opener and has scored seven of his nine centuries in that position, said yesterday’s practice would give the Windies squad an idea of what they will come up against.
“Every ground has its different challenges, but I’m sure that’s why this quick run that we’re going to have before the game tomorrow is going to give us an idea of how the conditions are going to be . . . . I’m sure we’re going to do what we need to do to be prepared and ready for the game,” the 26-year-old said.
While Hope has an overall average of 51.90, he has been prolific in Asian conditions with an impressive 123.66 in 15 innings.
The first ball of the day/night contest is scheduled to bowl at 2:30 p.m. local time (5 a.m. Eastern Caribbean Time). (CMC)