Saturday 21 July 2018

Hope springs Windies to famous victory

West Indies Shai Hope takes the applause after scoring the winning runs during day five of the the second Investec Test match at Headingley, Leeds. Photo: PA
West Indies Shai Hope takes the applause after scoring the winning runs during day five of the the second Investec Test match at Headingley, Leeds. Photo: PA

Nigel Whittaker

Shai Hope rose to the occasion with a second century in a matter of days as the West Indies chased down 322 to achieve a monumental victory over England in the second Test.

The 23-year-old became the first player to record centuries in both innings of a first-class match at Headingley, but more importantly his 118 not out in trying circumstances ushered the tourists to a series-levelling five-wicket triumph.

Coming to the crease at 53 for two, Hope belied his tender years and relative inexperience in only his 12th Test to put on a match-altering 144-run partnership with Kraigg Brathwaite - a stand that ultimately helped to secure the Windies' first victory in England since June 2000.

While Brathwaite fell five runs short of pipping his partner to become the first person to record twin centuries at this ground, Hope was able to see the Windies home under gloomy skies with the floodlights on in a nerve-jangling finish, with all four results possible heading into the final session.

It was quite the turnaround from the Windies following an innings-and-209-run trouncing at Edgbaston - a defeat that left many former players bemoaning the current set-up.

England, to their credit, fought back from a 169-run first-innings deficit and captain Joe Root sportingly declared their second innings on Monday evening to leave their opponents facing the prospect of going for the fourth highest run chase in their history when they resumed the battle on five without loss.

Irish Independent

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