Shai Hope’s 11th ODI century studded West Indian domination in the first of three ODIs against Netherlands in Amstelveen. On a blustery day with sheets of rain that reduced the game to 45-overs a side, West Indies made light work of a 248 chase, as they got home with 11 balls to spare and seven wickets in hand. There were also bruising half-centuries from Shamarh Brooks and Brandon King.
The tone of the chase was set early as Hope and Brooks added 120 for the first wicket. While their approach wasn’t explosive in the T20 sense, they kept reeling off enough to always stay ahead of the asking rate. Then there was a stutter when seam-bowling allrounder Logan van Beek picked up two wickets off successive deliveries.
First, he sent back Brooks by taking an excellent return catch and then had Nkrumah Bonner lbw with an inducker. When Nicholas Pooran, the captain, departed for 7 three overs later, Netherlands may have sniffed an outside chance of winning. That is when Hope and King decided to extinguish any such hopes with an unbroken 116-run stand to seal the deal.
Despite the loss, it wasn’t all doom and gloom for Netherlands as they fought hard to construct an innings that centred around rookie opener Vikramjit Singh and Max Dodd. They added 63 in 12 overs to set a solid base.
Then they had little contributions from every member of the top order, without any substantial score. It wasn’t until Teja Nidamanuru, the 27-year old India-born allrounder, top scored with 58 on debut that they managed to get to a respectable position.
Nidamanuru faced just 51 balls and struck three fours and two sixes in his knock. This helped Netherlands post 240 for 7, which was then re-adjusted to 248 via the DLS method. As the chase went on, it became increasingly evident that they were well short.
The second and third ODIs will take place on June 2 and June 4 respectively.
Despite the win, West Indies are currently 10th and outside the direct qualifying zone in the ODI Super League that serves to identify seven direct qualifiers – plus the hosts – for next year’s 50-overs World Cup in India. Netherlands are last, with just two wins in 11 matches so far.