GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC – Batting coach Toby Radford has backed West Indies to hit back strongly in Tuesday’s decisive third One-Day International , as the hosts chase their first series victory over Pakistan in nearly three decades.
West Indies won the opener of the three-match series last Friday when they staged a daring run chase to win by four wickets but Pakistan hit back on Sunday to level the series with a 74-run victory.
Radford said though the Windies would have preferred to enter the contest with a winning 2-0 lead, they were now fully focussed on pulling off the all-important win in the high stakes game.
“Everyone has got to be up for that. We were up for it [on Sunday] and we’re disappointed because we wanted to finish the series … but that was not to be,” the Englishman said here.
Jason Holder plays to leg during his career-best half-century in Sunday’s second ODI against Pakistan. (Photo courtesy WICB Media)
“We will come strongly on Tuesday, that’s a huge game for us. We want to win a series against them. We obviously had a great performance two days ago and we want to do that again.
“We believe we can do it, we’ve got the quality here to do it and but we’ve really got to dig deep and come back firing on all cyclinders.”
Coming on the backs of their historic victory on Friday, West Indies seemed en route to a series-clinching performance when they restricted Pakistan to below 200 in the first 40 overs of their innings.
However, Babar Azam unfurled an amazing unbeaten 125 – his fifth ODI hundred and fourth in five matches against West Indies – and Imad Wasim lashed a cameo unbeaten 43 down the order, as Pakistan rallied superbly to gather 84 runs from the last 42 balls of the innings.
Radford said it had been this shift in momentum which saw West Indies fall behind, and the inertia had extended into their run chase.
“I think there was a real momentum shift in the last 10 overs of the bowling and fielding effort,” Radford explained.
“I thought we bowled particularly well, especially the spinners in the middle. I thought Jason Holder up front was excellent today [but] Babar Azam is a top quality player and he struck the ball very cleanly at the back end of the innings.
“So from thinking we were probably chasing 230, 240, we suddenly end up chasing 280, probably 50 more runs than we wanted.”
From the excellence of Friday’s successful chase of 309, West Indies batsmen once again resorted to their worst habits with none of the top order passing 15, as the innings capitulated to 75 for six in the 18th over.
Captain Holder rallied the innings with a career-best 68 off 87 balls, engineering a 58-run seventh wicket partnership with tail-ender Ashley Nurse who slammed 44 from 43 balls.
Radford said though the pair had executed well, the effort came too late with the damage already done, as the top order had failed to deliver.
“We played well but the horse had bolted a bit. We didn’t get the start we’ve been getting,” he pointed out.
“We were getting some really good first power-plays in the last few games and also in the T20s recently. We lost early wickets [and had] a few soft dismissals. I think when you look down our scorecard quite a few of the guys got into the teens, the 12s and 15s but didn’t go on and found soft ways of getting out.
“I thought what we did really well the other day was we kept to a simple game plan of playing straight up and down the ground, keep the wickets in hand and then hit at the end. You saw today even when we had lost wickets, Jason Holder came in and [had a] simple game plan, Ashley Nurse [had a] simple game plan … and they made it look simple.”