Hope urges West Indies to remain focused against Sri Lanka in second ODI
After scoring his tenth One Day International century on Wednesday to lead the West Indies to a comprehensive eight-wicket win over Sri Lanka, batsman Shai Hope is urging his team to remain focused as they try to seal consecutive victories today and wrap up the three-match series with an unassailable 2-0 lead.
It has been a while since the West Indies won back-to-back One Day Internationals on home soil against either of the big teams, with their last three-nil win coming over Bangladesh back in 2014.
With several senior players returning to the fold, Hope believes that this unit can come up with another big performance that would see them wrap up the series win.
To say the West Indies were clinical in the opening fixture would be an understatement, however, the Barbadian knows all too well that any slip-up can let the visitors back into the fold.
“The first thing to do is not to be complacent. We pretty much played one of the best games we could have played in a while, and we just have to identify things that we can improve on because they are going to come back stronger, and we have to be capable and ready for anything they throw at us,” said Hope.
HOPING FOR A GOOD PERFORMANCE
Hope is hoping that he can replicate his first-match heroics when he scored 110 runs from 133 deliveries, and the right-hander, who has been out of the team for some time, says he doesn’t feel like he missed a beat, and it’s just a matter of executing for the team once again.
“I definitely have a lot of confidence. I haven’t played in a long time, and to come out and feel the way I felt, I felt like I was there all along. It was nice to get out there and get my feet wet again,” added Hope.
Following their workmanlike performance, the West Indies, who picked up their first ICC Cricket World Cup Super League points on Wednesday, is expected to field the same team that won the opening match.
However, Hope pointed out that the team needs to improve on their bowling in the power play and try to restrict the Sri Lankan top order, who got away to a canter in game one.
In the meantime, Sri Lanka will be without all-rounder Angelo Mathews, who will return home from the tour to “attend to a family matter”.
It is not sure who will replace Matthews, however, the Sri Lankans may opt to bring in the experienced Thisara Perera for Kamindu Mendis, who failed to spark with either bat or ball in the opening contest.