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Hope And Pooran Tons Keep the West Indies Unbeaten

West Indies v Nepal
Group Stage – One Day International – ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers
Venue: Harare Sports Club
Toss: Nepal won the toss and bowled
Result: West Indies won by 101 runs

Scorecard:https://www.windiescricket.com/matches/216488/#scorecard

Harare, Zimbabwe – A brilliant 15th ODI century by West Indies captain Shai Hope and a second by Nicholas Pooran took the Men in Maroon to a huge total of 339-7 in their allotted 50 overs. The bowlers then produced the goods to bowl out Nepal for 238 runs and win the second Group A preliminary match of the tournament.

In the historic first ODI between both nations, Nepal inserted the West Indies to bat, with some moisture in the deck for the early morning start at 9 am. Their plan worked initially, with the Caribbean men finding themselves two down within 4.1 overs. Opener Brandon King (32 runs from 42 balls) played a resilient knock, before being outfoxed by the mystery spin of Sandeep Lamichhane (1-50).

Nicholas Pooran (115 from 94 balls) came to the crease to join his skipper, who ended up top scoring in the match with 132 runs (129 balls). It was Hope’s 15th century of his career and second, since he took over as captain earlier this year. Together, Hope and Pooran put on the second-highest fourth-wicket partnership in West Indies’ history of 216 runs.

Rovman Powell (29 from 14) and Jason Holder (16 from 10) came in at the end and catapulted the West Indies to their eventual high total.

Nepal never really looked threatening in response, as the West Indies bowlers took wickets at regular intervals. Aarif Sheikh (63 from 93) and Gulsan Jha (42 from 58) were the standout batsmen, while Jason Holder was the pick of the West Indian bowlers with figures of 10-0-34-3. The performance took Holder to 157 career wickets – joint sixth with the great Malcolm Marshall on the West Indies all-time list.

The other bowlers were also on song. Alzarri Joseph bowled with pace to take 2-45, seamer Keemo Paul had 2-63 on his return to the ground where he debuted in 2018, while left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein had 2-49 – included the 50th of his career. One of the highlights in the field was a stupendous catch by substitute Keacy Carty on the long-off boundary off Hosein.

Pooran spoke after the match and praise his teammates for their good showing. He also looked ahead to the upcoming clash against Zimbabwe, to be played on Saturday at the same venue. A full house is excepted for the top of the table clash.

He said: “Saturday is going to be important for both teams. We are going to recover in preparation for Saturday and hopefully, we can play our best game and continue to move on in this tournament.”

Each side will play the other teams in their group once with the top three from the groups progressing to the Super Six stage from Thursday 29 June to Friday 7 July. The teams each play three Super Six matches against the sides they did not meet in the group stage.

All points won in the groups will be carried over to the Super Six stage apart from those gained against the bottom two from each group. The final will be played at Harare Sports Club on Sunday 9 July. The two finalists will both progress to the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.

West Indies Match Schedule

Start at 9 am (3 am Eastern Caribbean/2 am Jamaica)

Sunday 18 June: West Indies beat USA by 39 runs at Takashinga Cricket Club

Thursday 22 June: West Indies beat Nepal by 101 runs at Harare Sports Club

Saturday 24 June: v West Indies at Harare Sports Club

Monday 26 June: v Netherlands at Takashinga Cricket Club