Chase, Hope help West Indies thump USA by 9 wickets


West Indies 130 for 1 (82*) beat United States of America 128 (Gous 29, Chase 3-19, Russell 3-31) by nine wickets

ESPNCRICINFO- For much of T20 World Cup 2024, USA haven’t looked out of place against any side, but West Indies were a class apart against them. A brilliant bowling performance from the spinners spearheaded by Roston Chase was followed up by a chase that was sledgehammer-like in its brutality. Shai Hope crunched an unbeaten 82 off 39 balls, smashing eight sixes along the way as Nicholas Pooran helped him finish the game off with 55 balls and nine wickets to spare.

By the end, the contest looked like the first real mismatch USA have been on the wrong side of as they ran out of ideas bowling to Hope, who until now had only played one match all tournament. He would reach his half-century in just 26 balls – the fastest in T20 World Cup history for West Indies – before only speeding up after Jonathan Charles holed out. Pooran and Hope unleashed fire and fury towards the end as the game hurtled to an early finish, plundering the last 53 runs in just 14 deliveries.

The game was set up, though, by a disciplined bowling performance led by the wily old hand of Chase. Not by any means West Indies’ most glamorous spinner, Chase didn’t even get to bat against England in the previous game. He showed his all-round value with a statement performance, though, ripping through the USA’s middle order and breaking the back of the innings.

Akeal Hosein had played his customary role upfront, squeezing USA in the powerplay, while Andre Russell‘s three wickets helped the hosts continue to shackle USA whenever they tried to get a partnership going. The extra bounce Alzarri Joseph generated to dismiss Andries Gous just as he was beginning to whir into full gear ended up being the sliding doors moment for USA, who, in truth, were never close to competitive from that moment on. West Indies, meanwhile, are back with a bang.

Gous’ brief resistance

It seems a long time ago, but for a short while in the second half of the powerplay in the first innings, it looked as if Gous – now the second-highest scorer of this tournament – had turned the tide on West Indies. Halfway through, it was West Indies’ powerplay, having conceded just 13 in the first three overs. But Gous, who nearly took USA home against South Africa with an unbeaten 80 off 47, stormed to a flier once more, punishing the length deliveries of Joseph to help plunder 35 off the final three of the powerplay.

It helped USA put on 48 in the first six – their second-highest powerplay score at this World Cup. But with large parts of the middle order misfiring since their early couple of wins, USA needed Gous to press on as he did in the previous game. So when he holed out off Joseph after a bright 16-ball 29, trouble brewed for the co-hosts.

Chase leads the West Indies rally

Roston Chase picked consecutive wickets in the 14th over, West Indies vs USA, T20 World Cup 2024, Super Eight, Bridgetown, June 21, 2024

Roston Chase picked consecutive wickets in the 14th over•ICC/Getty Images

West Indies did not allow USA to post a big score and take the game deep; they were chasing net run rate as well as points in Barbados. Once Joseph had cleared Gous from the path, Chase and Gudakesh Motie had free rein to run rings round the rest. A bit of extra turn did for Nitish Kumar, but it was the Chase show from there.

Aaron Jones had just walloped a 101m six, but it didn’t stop Chase bravely flighting the first ball of the spell up to him on the stumps. Jones missed and Chase cleaned him up, but it was the double-strike in his third over that truly crippled USA. Corey Anderson’s desperate run with the bat continued when he was trapped on the back pad plumb in front, before slowing the next one right up, duping Harmeet Singh into lobbing it up straight to point. Chase was wisely bowled out in one four-over spell, with figures of 3 for 19 not flattering him in the slightest.

It’s Hope that kills USA off

There were calls for Hope to be included in West Indies’ starting line-up right from the start. Instead, it’s Brandon King’s injury that paved the way for him to come in, and leaving him out suddenly feels even more perplexing. He lit up his home ground with a sizzling display, ensuring West Indies got ahead of the rate early, and from thereon the contest turned into a run-rate salvage operation.

No bowler was spared the brutality of his raw power, and when a heave over mid-off cleared the rope, he brought up a scintillating half-century. But Hope wasn’t fading away; if anything he kicked it up a notch, smashing the hapless Milind Kumar for three consecutive sixes in the ninth over, priming West Indies to the sort of run-rate boosting win they so badly needed.

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