The first ODI was played between WI and England at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound, Antigua. England won the toss and opted to bat first. There have been 21 ODIs played here, with a 247 average. In the last four ODIs, the chasing team has prevailed. There is some doubt about how this pitch will play because it was just relaid. Their openers got them off to a strong start after they won the toss and chose to bat first. Phil Salt accelerated, being the more belligerent of the two. Sadly, both fell inside the powerplay after failing to convert their starts—a pattern that persisted throughout the innings. Crawley looked smooth during the middle overs, which produced good results, but his 71-run partnership with Brook was broken by a terrible mix-up.
Jos Buttler’s awful run of form continued as he went down easily, and Livingstone was up next. After Brook was dismissed for 71, Sam Curran used his bat to his fullest ability and added some significant runs with Brydon Carse. Curran and Care’s combination was worth 66 off just 38, and England’s late charge took them over 300. In the field, the Windies performed terribly. Numerous opportunities were missed, and there were numerous mis-fields. Additionally, they’ll think that in the last ten overs, they let England off the hook. The wicket was not easy to chase because it was two-paced, had varying bounce, and offered something for the spinners.
Chasing 326 on a tacky track was never going to be simple, but the openers gave them the much-needed boost. Athanaze scored 66 runs during their joint 104-run partnership before being the first to go. King was closely behind, but the captain raised one end while the others threw caution to the wind. When England appeared to be winning at 218/5 in the 39th over, Romario Shepherd entered the game and added a little bit of magic. Under pressed, the English bowlers lost their cool as he hit the ball in all directions. The game changed when Hope and Shepherd combined for an 89-run stand off of just 51 deliveries.
The skipper remained calm even as Shepherd left with maybe twenty to go. With a huge six to get his hundred, he ended the game with another. Thus, the Windies accomplish their most successful run-chase in the history of the Caribbean. Sam Curran gave up 98 runs in 9.5 overs due to his unusually bad ball-handling performance today. First to score is the home team, who hand England another heartbreaking defeat. In ODI cricket, they haven’t had a good few months, and things don’t get much better today. This chase was expertly timed by the Windies, and Shai Hope in particular.