T20WC24: WI live in Hope, as USA chastened in heavy loss by 9 wkts and 55 balls

Opener Shai Hope posted his best-ever T20I score of 82 not out at his hometown in Bridgetown last night, as the West Indies crushed the United States of America by nine wickets with 55 balls remaining—for their first Super Eight win of the 2024 ICC T20 World Cup.

The Maroon Men still need a win over South Africa on Sunday to continue in the tournament. However, West Indies’ superior net run rate means that they are assured of advancing to the semifinal round if they do—although South Africa, England and the co-hosts can feasibly all end this phase with four points apiece.

West Indies opener Shai Hope (right) goes on the attack during their T20 World Cup clash with USA in Bridgetown on 21 June 2024.
Photo: ICC/ Getty

Roston Chase, the man of the match with three wickets for 19 runs, suggested that victory over South Africa is already written in the stars.

“It’s our destiny and our goal to win the World Cup,” said Chase, in the post-game press conference. “So anyone we play, we have to beat from here to go win it.”

It was always going to be a tall order for their co-hosts, USA, to get in their way.

Arguably, the Americans exceeded expectations to get this far—thanks in large part to the big hitting of Aaron Jones and Steven Taylor, two US-born cricketers with Caribbean roots.

USA batsman Steven Taylor.

The 30-year-old Taylor has a Jamaican father and played regional cricket there, while he was on the books of three different CPL franchises. He was a former teammate of West Indies spinner Akeal Hosein while at Barbados Tridents.

“He (Hosein) is a good friend of mine,” said Taylor, in the build-up to last night’s contest. “I know most of his tricks so for sure I’ll be hunting him, first ball.”

Taylor faced five balls from Hosein and managed two singles, before he was caught by Chase off the bowling of Andre Russell (who he described as a “big brother”) in the second ball of the second over of the match.

USA still managed a decent 48 runs off the powerplay. But, once Gukadesh Motie trapped Nitish Kumar lbw for 20, the North Americans stuttered and were all out off the penultimate ball of the innings for 128.

West Indies bowler Alzarri Joseph (right) and fielder Shai Hope (centre) combined for the wicket of USA batsman Andries Gous during their T20 World Cup contest at Bridgetown on 21 June 2024.
Looking on (left) is Gudakesh Motie.
Photo: ICC/ Getty

“It’s something we talked about in the team meeting—that if we don’t get too many wickets in the powerplay, it’s on the spinners to come and pull the game back,” said Chase. “And that’s what we did today.”

West Indies captain Rovman Powell confirmed his delight with his bowlers in general and Chase in particular.

“I think [Chase] plays a critical role for us,” said Powell. “He comes and tightens things.”

West Indies bowler Roston Chase (right) is congratulated by teammate Andre Russell during T20 World Cup action against Uganda in Guyana on 8 June 2024.

As opposed to Hope, who came out to play mas.

It was only Hope’s second game of the World Cup and there was a clamour for his return by supporters.

Long forgotten is his lean spell of 31, 1 (away to Pakistan), 20, 2, 4 (against England in Bridgetown) and 8 (away to India) in his first six T20I after the pandemic, which saw him effectively labelled as: “not suited for this version of the game”.

West Indies opener Shai Hope in action.
Photo: Daniel Prentice/ Wired868

Having chipped away at the selector’s resolve ever since—not least with his cameo of 25 from 17 balls batting at #4 against Afghanistan on Monday—Hope, reinstated in the WI XI due to injury suffered by Brandon King, unleashed himself on USA last night with an unbeaten 82 from 39 balls (4×4, 8×6).

His first 50 runs came off just 26 balls.

“He (Hope) has been fantastic,” said Powell. “He got an opportunity and was dropped due to combination, but came back and performed. [That] shows the strength of the team.”

Powell will hope that West Indies reserved some firepower for South Africa on Sunday, as they continue to chase their presumed destiny.

West Indies captain Rovman Powell (right) leads his players off the field at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy during the 2024 ICC T20 World Cup.
Photo: Nicholas Bhajan/ Wired868

(Summarised scores)

Toss: West Indies

USA: 126 all out (19.5 overs) (Andries Gous 29, Nitish Kumar 20; Roston Chase 3/19, Andre Russell 3/31, Alzarri Joseph 2/31)

West Indies: 130 for 1 (10.5 overs) (Shai Hope 82*, Nicholas Pooran 27*; Harmeet Singh 1/18)

Player-of-the-Match: Roston Chase

Result: West Indies win by 9 wickets

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