A monumental feat was achieved by West Indies batsmen Shai Hope and John Campbell when they put on a partnership of 365 runs for the first wicket in the opening ODI of a tri-series in Ireland. The duo tore apart the home team's attack and took away the record for the second highest partnership for any wicket in 50-over cricket that had belonged to Indian duo of Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid since 1999.
Tendulkar and Dravid had put on a partnership of 331 against New Zealand in 1999. They held the record for the biggest partnership for any wicket until it was broken by another West Indian duo of Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels. The latter pair put on 372 runs for the second wicket against Zimbabwe in the 2015 World Cup. Hope and Campbell fell just seven short of bettering it. However, they now hold the record for the highest opening partnership in one-day international cricket, which previously belonged to Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman of Pakistan. They had scored 304 runs against Zimbabwe last year during a bilateral series.
The incredible thing about this achievement is that both batsmen are opening the innings only due to the absence of first-choice batsmen Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis. The former was batting for Kings XI Punjab while history was being crafted by his West Indian teammates. In fact, John Campbell isn't even in the team for the World Cup and is only with the side as a back-up player.
The partnership was eventually broken when Campbell was dismissed on 179 off 137 balls on the second ball of the 48th over. Hope followed shortly after, being dismissed for 170 off 152 balls, three deliveries later. West Indies eventually ended up with their second biggest score in ODI history, 381/3.
Shai Hope has been in terrific form since West Indies tour of India last year. While his performance in Tests has been very disappointing, in the 50-over format, the Barbados batsman has been scoring runs with great consistency. His partner Campbell looked promising during his debut international series – a 3-Test rubber against England – and was given a chance in the ODI format also during the 5-match series against England that followed the Tests. However, the left-hander failed to capitalize and wasn't picked for the World Cup.
This effort from him would now tempt the selectors to bring the left-handed opener into the final 15-men squad that has to be announced before May 23. Shai Hope though, is a certainty in the top order. But it would be interesting to see whether he moves to the opening position or remains in his customary number 3 spot.