TAUNTON, England (CMC) – With West Indies facing a do-or-die fixture against New Zealand on Saturday, marquee batsman Shai Hope has called on his teammates to dig deeper and find a way to win the vital contest.
The Caribbean side slumped to their third defeat in five matches on Monday when they suffered a chastening seven-wicket loss to Bangladesh here, leaving them seventh on three points and running out of time to make the semi-finals.
“It’s now must-win. We have to put everything into getting those runs (on the board),” Hope said following Monday’s defeat.
“As a team, we have to go back to the drawing board, find solutions and go and win the game.”
The right-hander top-scored with 96 as West Indies piled up 321 for eight off their 50 overs at Somerset County Ground, leaving Bangladesh facing a record run chase in order to win the contest.
But veteran all-rounder Shakib-al-Hasan hammered an unbeaten 124 while Liton Das stroked an accomplished unbeaten 94, as the Tigers romped to their target in the 42nd over with 51 balls remaining.
Despite his performance, Hope copped criticism for the pace of his innings. He faced 120 balls and struck just four fours and a six before falling in the 47th over with West Indies still under 300.
The 25-year-old said while there was a need to increase his strike rate, he had also been mindful of the importance to hold the innings together in partnerships.
“Whenever I step to the crease, it’s a case of batting as long as possible. (You) don’t leave it for anyone else in the final overs – you just have to take responsibility,” Hope said.
“I can massively improve it (the strike rate). Whatever I can do to improve, I’ll do that but it was a bit of a difficult spot for me in the sense that we keep losing wickets in the middle overs and putting the lower half under a bit of pressure.
“Having said that we need to keep the innings together and get as many runs as we can, especially in the back-end.”
Hope has been West Indies’ most successful ODI player in recent years, averaging 50 from 59 matches with six hundreds.