Not the end of the world says Holder

-brushes aside pitch concerns, says Windies need to improve

THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY: Shakib-al-Hasan looks back as Chris Gayle puts down a catch at slip during his 97 in Sunday’s opening ODI. (Photo courtesy CWI Media)

GEORGETOWN, Guyana,  CMC – Skipper Jason Holder has downplayed the role of the pitch in Sunday’s 48-run defeat to Bangladesh in the opening One-Day International of the three-match series, contending West Indies simply were not at their best.

West Indies failed to chase down 279 on a slow track at the Guyana National Stadium, with rookie left-hander Shimron Hetmyer the only batsman to score a half-century with 52.

However, Holder said while the target had not been beyond the Windies line-up, the batting side had simply not been good enough, and stressed the side’s overall performance needed to improve in order to bounce back in tomorrow’s second ODI at the same venue.

“I think the pitch was good. It was probably similar to the last time we played Pakistan here,” the 26-year-old all-rounder said.

“It took a little spin up front because there had a little moisture in the pitch but nothing you couldn’t really get around in terms of rotating and scoring. It’s probably a pitch that you need to spend a little more time on in terms of getting yourself in and I think once you’re set, it becomes a lot easier.”

He added: “I think we need to improve in all three departments, just sharpen up. Our generally fielding wasn’t good enough in my opinion – we missed a few chances.

“In terms of our bowling, we could execute a lot better at the end. Obviously bowling at two set batsmen at the very end isn’t easy but I thought we could have been a lot better … in terms of our death bowling.

“And batting-wise, we’ve just got to find ways to build more partnerships and build bigger partnerships and go as deep as possible into the innings.”

West Indies were battered by opener Tamim Iqbal’s unbeaten 130 from 160 deliveries as Bangladesh reached 279 for four off their 50 overs.

Critically, he shared a record 207-run second wicket stand with all-rounder Shakib-al-Hasan whose 97 came from 121 balls.

In reply, the Windies were 141 for four in the 36th over at one stage but suffered a slump where they lost five wickets for 31 runs in 33 deliveries, leaving tail-enders Devendra Bishoo and Alzarri Joseph, both with 29 not out, to bat out the majority of the last 10 overs.

“I felt we weren’t up to scratch today. In the field we were a little sloppy, we missed a few chances,” Holder explained.

“I felt we bowled pretty well up until the 45th over or so and we lost our way in the last couple of overs. And then obviously when we batted, there were not enough partnerships up front.”

Despite the defeat, however, Holder said the Windies were confident of turning their fortunes around. 

“I don’t think it’s the end of the world. We know the areas we need to tighten up on. As I said, missing chances in any cricket will hurt you – we missed one or two up front and I said, we just did not execute well at the end,” he explained.

“Having said that, I still think we had a few positives in the game. Hetmyer played really well with the bat, the two at the end (Bishoo and Joseph) played a really good part and also bowled well. I think generally most bowlers went well and it’s just a matter of us taking it up a notch come Wednesday.”

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