ODI: Hope and Campbell world-record partnership floors Ireland

SUMMARY: West Indies 381-3 (Campbell 179, Hope 170, McCarthy 2-76) beat Ireland 185 (O'Brien 68, Nurse 4-51, Gabriel 3-44) by 196 runs


Willey c Adair b Little 20.
Campbell c Porterfield b McCarthy 179.

Between those two moments, separated by two days, Ireland bowled 62.1 overs, conceded 463 runs, and failed to take a single wicket.

The bulk of those 463 runs – 365 of them – came on Sunday, as John Campbell and Shai Hope put on the biggest opening partnership in ODI history. They came within seven runs of the biggest ODI partnership for any wicket – a record held by another West Indies pair, Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels.

They came within 17 balls of becoming the first opening pair to bat through the entire first innings of an ODI. They did, however, become the first openers to both score 150 in an ODI innings.

It left Ireland an improbable 382 to chase, and they didn’t get remotely close. Kemar Roach and Sheldon Cottrell reduced them to 21-3, and there was no recovering from there, even if there were a couple of bright partnerships involving Kevin O’Brien, who made 68, first with Andy Balbirnie and then with Gary Wilson.

Playing his 100th ODI, Balbirnie had to retire hurt on 28, when a nasty bouncer from Shannon Gabriel hit him on the helmet; he returned later but only added one run to his score.

West Indies’ bowlers presented a much bigger wicket threat than Ireland’s had, Gabriel’s raw pace offering the starkest point of difference; he pinged O’Brien’s helmet too, apart from bagging three wickets. There were also four for the offspinner Ashley Nurse, including one off a dipping offbreak that spun through the gate to have Barry McCarthy stumped. With the last six wickets adding just 32, Ireland’s innings only lasted 34.4 overs.

Dublin , Ireland – 5 May 2019; West Indies players, including Ashley Nurse, centre, celebrate the wicket of Lorcan Tucker of Ireland the during the One Day International between Ireland and West Indies at Clontarf Cricket Club in Clontarf, Dublin. (Photo By Sam Barnes/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Ireland’s assortment of medium-fast seam and honest fingerspin must be the least threatening bowling arsenal of all the Full Member teams at the moment, and Campbell and Hope took it apart in an utterly controlled and clinical manner. Watching this, it was hard to believe that these two teams had both been in the same ODI boat, fighting to make the World Cup grade, the last time they met.

Plenty has happened since then, and much of it has been encouraging for West Indies, to the extent that they will be counted among the most dangerous line-ups at the World Cup that they so nearly didn’t qualify for. Today’s partnership didn’t even come from their first-choice opening pair. Campbell, who clattered six sixes today in a 137-ball 179, isn’t in the preliminary World Cup squad, and Hope, who stroked a cultured 170 off 152, doesn’t usually open the batting.

Both, though, were too good for Ireland’s modest attack. They were watchful early on, but once they had seen off the initial new-ball nibble – Tim Murtagh and Mark Adair went past the edge on a fair few occasions, with Campbell in particular taking time to get his feet moving – they pretty much did as they pleased.

Only 42 came off the first 11 overs, at which point Ireland made their second bowling change, bringing on Barry McCarthy, their fourth seamer. McCarthy’s first ball was a stomach-high full-toss, which Campbell flat-batted over the long-off boundary. His third ball drifted onto Hope’s legs, and he tucked it away to fine leg for four. The next ball was a wide half-volley, and Hope unfurled an extra-cover drive. Four more. Eighteen came off that over, and from there on the runs flowed unchecked.

Hope drove the seamers eye-catchingly through the covers, often opening his bat face to beat short extra diving to his left, and down the ground, and used the shuffle across the crease adroitly to pick up leg-side singles and twos off all lines and lengths. Campbell was the likelier of the pair to hit over the top, and he also showed a fondness for the lap-sweep off the seamers, picking up three fours with this shot.

After scoring only 37 in the first ten overs, West Indies scored 68, 80, and 74 in their next three ten-over blocks. Then came the long-promised carnage: in the last 44 balls of their partnership, Hope and Campbell clattered 106 runs.

Both batsmen began clearing their front leg and flat-batting the ball where they pleased. Adair went for 21 in the 41st over, George Dockrell for 16 in the 42nd, Josh Little for 16 in the 45th, Adair for 18 in the 46th, and Murtagh for 17 in the 47th.

By this time both batsmen were past 160 and the world-record partnership for any wicket beckoned. But trying to fetch a rising ball from outside off stump, Campbell sent a rare top-edge ballooning high in the sky.

It took an age coming down, but a tumbling William Porterfield eventually got under it at mid-off. It was Ireland’s first ODI wicket in 374 balls. Like the old cliche about buses, the next wicket came in the same over, Hope picking out the fielder at deep square leg.

Almost miraculously, only 16 came off the last three overs, and West Indies fell short of their highest ODI total – achieved just over two months ago – by eight runs. With the World Cup less than a month away, it’s not a bad time to make your two biggest ODI totals in the space of three matches. (ESPNCricinfo)

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