HOPE’S BIG RUNS, CHASE’S GREAT ALL- ROUND SHOW AND A RARE SWEEP

Shai Hope registered his seventh ODI ton and with cameos from Kieron Pollard and Roston Chase helped West Indies sweep the three-match series against Afghanistan in Lucknow – their first sweep in over five years in the format. Hope anchored the chase and remained unbeaten on 109 playing the role of the accumulator as he has so often done for the West Indies throughout his career. Although Hope scored at a rate of just 75.17 and played out as many as 76 dot deliveries which TVConal’s CricAlgorithmics predicted to be in the higher IQR (interquartile range) for all scores of 100 or more in ODI cricket, he was the pivot in the chase and his presence gave the surety to the other batsmen to attack from the other end. Mujeeb Ur Rahman had given West Indies an initial double blow getting rid of Evin Lewis and Shimron Hetmyer in the third over. At 4 for 2, CricAlgorithmics gave Afghanistan a 90% chance of victory. Afghanistan had the upper hand throughout the match till Hope combined with Pollard and put together 63 for the fifth-wicket before stitching together a match- winning unbeaten stand of 71 with Roston Chase. From the 45th over onward, it was West Indies who were firm favourites.

Hope now has an average of 50.63 – the highest for West Indies in their ODI history! And the seventh-highest overall (min. 2000 runs). He finished as the highest run-scorer of the series with 229 runs in 3 matches. Chase was the other standout player in the match and the series for the West Indies. He was the most restrictive bowler in the match conceding just 24 runs in his 10 overs bowling as many as 43 dot deliveries. He then scored a crucial 42 in just 32 deliveries under pressure to see West Indies over the line. He ended the series as the highest wicket-taker with 6 wickets but what stood out was his phenomenal economy rate of 2.83. He was also the second-highest run-scorer of the series.

Earlier, at the start of the match, CricAlgorithmics gave Afghanistan the edge with a 58% chance of winning. Hazratullah Zazai, who badly needed a significant score, recorded the second fifty of his ODI career (the first after 11 innings) and gave Afghanistan the necessary impetus at the top with a 59-ball 50. But West Indies fought back and reduced the home side to 118 for 5 before a brilliant 127-run stand for the sixth-wicket between Asghar Afghan and Mohammad Nabi helped Afghanistan post a challenging 249 for 7 in their allotted 50 overs. At the half-way stage, CricAlgorithmics had given Afghanistan a 91% chance of winning the match.

Ultimately, in the larger analysis, West Indies were the better batting and bowling unit. They ended the series with a collective batting average of 39 whereas Afghanistan was way behind with a corresponding average of just 22.7. The disparity between the two sides was evident in the bowling too. While West Indies had a bowling average and strike rate of 26.2 and 35.2, the corresponding numbers for Afghanistan were 42.62 and 54.4.

 
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