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And the crowd went wild!  WINDIES win first ODI in Style

Shay Hope, West Indies Captain leads the West Indies to its first ODI victory over England (IPB photo)

By Zoë Carlton

As the shadow of the floodlights stretched across the pitch at Sir Viv Richards’ stadium in Antigua, England cricket team must have thought victory was in the bag when, with WINDIES at 213 for five in the 39th over, they still needed 100 runs.

How wrong they were. Some loose bowling from England, inspired batting from WINDIES, captain Shai Hope in particular, propelled them to a stunning victory, after a run chase of 324, with an over and four wickets in hand.  Both sets of supporters cheered themselves hoarse for both the result and some exhilarating cricket.

They came to Antigua from England, Canada, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, especially for the week’s cricket. Birthday boy Sam from Manchester, 30 on match day, said it was “the best birthday ever!” Jack, Jack and Dan, from UK and Texas said that to watch WINDIES v England in Antigua was a “chance of a lifetime; one from their bucket list.”

England’s Barmy Army was there in force; At first glance, it seemed England fans far outnumbered the WINDIES fans. Union flags, white ensigns, England flags festooned the stands with only the official WINDIES or Antigua flags to see.

With ten overs to go, the WINDIES fans made their presence felt. With every run, every six, every four, the whole crowd erupted. Shai Hope hit three sixes in four balls, and they just kept coming.  The captain was ably supported by Romari Shepherd, who scored 48 from just 28 balls and partnered with Antigua’s own Alzari Joseph for the last few overs.

England is now licking their wounds, WINDIES is celebrating; the anticipation for Wednesday’s play is building even higher. Can WINDIES maintain this form? The fans can’t wait!

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