AAJ CRICKET

Hope’s unbeaten 146 leads West Indies to level ODI series

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West Indies cricketer Shai Hope (R) hugs his teammate Keemo Paul (L) after winning the second one-day international (ODI) between Bangladesh and West Indies at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka. AFP

DHAKA, Bangladesh: Opener Shai Hope smashed an unbeaten 146 for West Indies to beat Bangladesh off the third-to-last ball and send their one-day international series to a decider on Tuesday.

Bangladesh made 255-7 and Hope singlehandedly thwarted the host with a career-best ODI knock to hold together the West Indies’ winning reply of 256-6 and keep the series alive.

The third and final match is on Friday back at Sylhet.

Bangladesh looked set to secure a third straight bilateral series win when it exposed the West Indies tail at 185-6.

But Hope shared an unbeaten 71 off 64 balls with Keemo Paul for the seventh wicket, in which Paul contributed only 18.

The West Indies needed 32 off the last 18 balls to win and scored 10, including a Hope six back over bowler Rubel Hossain.

The equation dropped to 22 off 12, and Hope brought victory in sight by hitting Mustafizur for three boundaries — all of them from the same perfectly manufactured shot — in a 16-run penultimate over.

Paul ended up hitting the winning runs, as the West Indies finally beat Bangladesh on this tour after three heavy defeats in the tests and first one-dayer.

Hope’s match-defining innings of 146 not out off 144 balls was laced with a dozen boundaries and three sixes. It was his third century.—AP