Hope, Fletcher score centuries as HPC dominate
KHULNA, Bangladesh (CMC) — Typically flamboyant hundreds from Kyle Hope and Andre Fletcher gave the Sagicor High Performance Centre team a brilliant start to their opening tour match against the Bangladesh National Cricket Academy yesterday.
Hope was undefeated on 146 and Fletcher made 105, as the HPC amassed 394 for five in their first innings at the close on the first day of the four-day match at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium.
Keddy Lesporis narrowly missed out on his hundred, when he was dismissed in the final hour for 97 and Marlon Barclay scored 31 to reinforce ruthless batting from the emerging West Indies players after they chose to bat.
Barbadian Hope, batting at four, smashed 14 fours and one six from 184 balls in 276 minutes, and Grenadian Fletcher, opening the batting, struck 16 fours and one six from 165 balls in 198 minutes.
The two Sagicor HPC century-makers put on 138 for the third wicket, underlining their talent with an array of attractive strokes before Hope and Lesporis took control with a stand of 168 for the fourth wicket.
Sagicor HPC suffered an early setback, when opener Kjorn Ottley was caught behind for a second-ball duck, top-edging a cut in the first over from Dollar Mahmud.
But Fletcher and left-hander Barclay put on 81 for the second wicket in quick time, giving the Sagicor HPC the foundation for their massive total.
After Barclay was lbw to left-arm spinner Shaker Ahmed, Fletcher reached his 50 from 57 balls with a single off the same bowler and with Hope carried the Sagicor HPC to 138 for two at lunch.
After the interval, Hope too, reached his 50 from 52 balls, stroking his ninth four off Muktar Ali, but Fletcher appeared unstoppable and reached his hundred from 139 balls with a deuce off NCA captain Mahmudul Hassan, bowling off-spin.
Fletcher was caught behind off left-arm spinner Nazmul Islam soon after reaching his milestone, paving the way for Hope and Lesporis to bat almost the remainder of the day.
Hope was within reach of his milestone on 97, as he and Lesporis carried the Sagicor HPC to 268 for three at tea.
The 23-year-old Hope reached his milestone from 109 balls with two runs off Dollar Mahmud's second legitimate delivery after tea.
He and Lesporis, whose 50 came from 63 balls, continued the rampage, scoring freely against the untested NCA bowling.
Lesporis was dropped on 87, when 'keeper Anamul Haque failed to hold his edge off Nazmul, but he became the second wicket anyway for the spinner, whose 23 overs cost 71.
Yannic Cariah fell for a second-ball duck in the final half-hour, allowing Shaker to finish with 2-77 from 16 overs.
The Sagicor HPC team, led by all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite, is on a month-long trip of Bangladesh.
They will also play a four-day match against the Bangladesh A-Team before facing these opponents in three One-day and two Twenty20 matches.