England elected to bat first and posted a total of 325 runs in 50 overs during their encounter with West Indies. Despite this effort, West Indies, led by captain Shai Hope’s unbeaten century, secured victory with ample balls and wickets to spare.

The struggles for England’s ODI team persist, following their premature exit in the Cricket World Cup 2023 and a low ranking among participating teams. In their recent clash in Antigua, they suffered a defeat in the first ODI against West Indies, a team that didn’t even qualify for the World Cup. The former 2019 World Champions seem to have lost their winning touch in ODIs.

Jos Buttler, the England skipper, chose to bat after winning the toss. The team reached a total of 325 for 10 in 50 overs, with Harry Brook contributing 71. However, Buttler, continuing his poor form, was dismissed for just 3 runs after facing 13 deliveries. Zak Crawley scored 48, and Phil Salt added 45, but the overall performance left much to be desired.

Left-arm orthodox spinner Gudakesh Motie stood out as the best bowler, picking up one wicket for 49 runs in his ten overs. Oshane Thomas also made an impact with figures of 2 for 57.

West Indies, in their chase, had a strong start with openers Alick Athanaze (66) and Brandon King (35) forming a solid partnership of 104 for the first wicket. Despite some setbacks, Shai Hope’s unbeaten century (109 off 83 balls) led the West Indies to victory. Shimron Hetmyer’s 30-ball 32 and Romaria Shephard’s impressive knock of 49 off 28 balls further propelled the successful chase.

Shai Hope received a standing ovation from the entire West Indies dressing room and the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium upon completing his century. This marked Hope’s 16th ODI ton, and with this achievement, he became the joint-third fastest batter in ODI history to reach 5000 runs, alongside Richards and Kohli.

England’s captain, Jos Buttler, credited West Indies for playing better cricket and expressed determination to bounce back strongly in the next match. The second ODI of the three-match series is scheduled for December 6 at the same venue in Antigua.

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