Hope says West Indies focused and not worried, despite opening loss


Hope says West Indies focused and not worried, despite opening loss

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

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HAMBANTOTA, Sri Lanka (CMC) — Despite heading into today's second match of the One-Day International (ODI) series one down, West Indies are 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 [and] 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 here 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 gonna 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.”

Hope's ton underlined a strong West Indies batting performance, as they racked up 289-7 after being sent in to bat in the series opener at Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo.

But the Caribbean men suffered heartbreak as Sri Lanka's top three made solid starts, which set the tone for a successful chase, and the hosts made it home in the final over, finishing on 290-9 off 49.1 overs.

The second match of the series, which will be played under lights, will be the first ODI at Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium in over two years.

And Hope said yesterday's practice would give the Windies squad an idea of what they will come up against in their encounter with Sri Lanka.

“Every ground has its different challenges, but I'm sure that's why this quick run that we're gonna have before the game tomorrow is gonna give us an idea of how the conditions are gonna be…I'm sure we're gonna do what we need to do today to be prepared and ready for the game tomorrow,” the 26-year-old said.

The first ball of the day/night contest is scheduled to bowl at 2:30 pm local time (5:00 am Eastern Caribbean time/4:00 am Jamaica time).

There have been no changes to the squad from the series opener as West Indies seek to secure their first ODI series in Sri Lanka and move ahead of the South Asian nation in the International Cricket Council ODI rankings.

They entered the series in ninth position on 80 points — one position and one point behind Sri Lanka.

The full West Indies squad comprises Kieron Pollard (captain), Fabian Allen, Sunil Ambris, Darren Bravo, Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Keemo Paul, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Romario Shepherd, Hayden Walsh Jr.

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