But after seeing the West Indies make 427 in their first innings, Ali expected England to have to work hard for their wickets on Tuesday.
Hope, 23, proved the visitors' hero with his unprecedented achievement of twin centuries in a match after 118 years of first-class cricket at the famous Yorkshire venue. Here, he was elegant through the offside and assured off his legs.
England wrestled control of the second test away from the West Indies late on the fourth day on Monday, declaring its second innings on 490-8 and setting the tourists a tough target of 322 to win. Only Australia, with 404 for 3 back in 1948, had made more to win in the fourth innings of a Headingley Test.
With the win, West Indies leveled the three-match series 1-1.
"We felt like their heads went down pretty quickly after tea", left-handed batsman Ali told reporters. Alastair Cook dropped Brathwaite on 4 and Stuart Broad dropped him later too which would have exposed Windies' fragile lower-middle order far earlier in the day.
But Broad did reduce the West Indies from 46 for none to 53 for two.
Hope and Roston Chase kept the scoreboard ticking with a 49-run stand before Chase was removed by Chris Woakes for 30. Opener Kraigg Brathwaite is, however, looking settled now.
Their nerves were settled somewhat when Chase was caught brilliantly by substitute fielder Mason Crane, diving away to his left, at mid-on off Woakes.
England took the new ball in search of wickets but Blackwood greeted Anderson by walking down the wicket and depositing him over long-on for six.
Hope came highly-recommended from the Caribbean - although an average of 18.61 prior to this Test is hardly a ringing endorsement.
At the heart of the Windies' enterprise were Brathwaite and Hope who combined prudence and aggression to subdue England's much-vaunted seam attack.
He then survived a potential stumping as Blackwood, who was put down by Stokes in the deep, took off his helmet in preparation for scoring the winning runs only to be stumped off Moeen with two required.
Watch live coverage of the third Test between England and Windies on Sky Sports Cricket with over-by-over commentary and in-play video clips on our live match day blog, available across Sky Sports digital platforms, from 10am on Thursday, September 7.
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