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Hope crucial for West Indies in first Test

New Zealand hot favourites

Shai Hope impressed during the West Indies' Test series in England
1 of 1

First Test
Sky Sports Cricket & Main Event, 10pm Thursday

The West Indies shocked England at Headingley in August before losing the series 2-1 and New Zealand can’t afford to be complacent in the first Test in Wellington.

First-choice wicketkeeper BJ Watling is sidelined with a hip injury and Tim Southee is set to miss out because of the birth of his first child.

New Zealand remain a classy Test outfit at home but odds of 4-11 about them beating an improving Windies side make little appeal.

Instead, take the 11-4 about Shai Hope top-scoring in the tourists’ first innings. The number four played a crucial role in the victory in Leeds, scoring centuries in both innings of the match, and he has maintained that fine form.

Hope scored 85 against Zimbabwe A in Bulawayo before knocks of 90 not out, 44 and 40 in the Test series in southern Africa. He started this tour with a brisk 110 off 133 balls against a New Zealand A side including Lockie Ferguson, who has been added to the Test squad as cover for Southee.

Recommendation
S Hope top West Indies first-innings runscorer
1pt 3-1 general


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New Zealand remain a classy Test outfit at home but odds of 4-11 about them beating an improving Windies side make little appeal.
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