LONDON, CMC – West Indies captain Jason Holder said losing the fourth One-Day International had been a bitter pill to swallow, especially following the outstanding performances of Evin Lewis and Alzarri Joseph.
Opener Lewis slammed a career-best 176 – the fourth highest individual score by a West Indies batsman in ODIs – as the Caribbean side raced to an imposing 356 for five off their 50 overs at the Oval on Wednesday.
Pacer Joseph then became the youngest Windies bowler to take a five-wicket haul in ODIs when he grabbed five for 56 but England rallied to 258 for five – ahead of the par score – when rain intervened in the 36th over to win by six runs.
“It’s really hard to take. It’s hard when a guy scores a 170 and another guy takes five wickets and you end up losing the game,” Holder said afterwards.
“I thought we were really in the game. Although England kept up with the run rate, I think thought it was still a big ask for them and we were getting wickets at crucial stages.
“I just felt had the rain not come it would have been a very close finish and we were backing ourselves to win it.”
Lewis faced 130 balls and belted 17 fours and seven sixes, and was only removed when he drove a full length delivery from pacer Jake Ball into his ankle in the 47th over, and had to be stretchered from the field.
Subsequent scans revealed a hairline fracture, leaving the left-hander out of action for up to three weeks.
Holder said the innings had headlined the Windies’ positive display in the encounter.
“We did a lot of good things in this game. I thought we batted extremely well led by Evin Lewis,” Holder pointed out.
“I thought the beauty of his innings was the way he paced it. He was very good up front, kept it nice and tight and he was able to score freely. And the way be batted through the innings and batted very, very deep, it was just unfortunate the blow he took.”
England sped away to a great start to be 126 without loss in the 17th over before the 20-year-old Joseph took all five wickets to reduce the hosts to 181 in the 28th over.
However, Holder lamented the loose bowling overall which saw his side leak runs at crucial points, especially when Moeen Ali (48 not out) and Jos Buttler (43 not out) added a whirlwind 77 off 48 deliveries in an unbroken sixth wicket stand, “There were too many boundaries. Jos Buttler came in and played a really good innings along with Moeen Ali. But having said there were too many boundary [balls] and those really hurt us in the end.”
With rain looming, England trailed on Duckworth/Lewis and only managed to overhaul the par score in the final over before the stoppage.
Marlon Samuels had missed a sharp chance at point in the previous over off Moeen, which would have put the Windies firmly on top with Duckworth/Lewis.
“I was aware [of the par score required] but we weren’t able to stem the flow of runs and that dropped chance there by Marlon was crucial,” Holder lamented.
“Again, it happens in a cricket game but had we held that chance it would’ve obviously sent up Duckworth/Lewis.”
West Indies take on England in the final ODI in Southampton today.