Series loss highlights Windies deficiencies, says Holder

Jason Holder

BASSETERRE, St Kitts, CMC – Captain Jason Holder on Saturday conceded West Indies still had much work to do in order to ready themselves for next year’s ICC World Cup in England, after they slumped to a 2-1 series defeat to Bangladesh.

In the decisive third One-Day International at Warner Park, West Indies were undone by Tamim Iqbal’s second hundred of the series (103) as Bangladesh piled up their highest-ever score against the hosts – 301 for six off their allotted 50 overs.

West Indies then came up short by 18 runs as not for the first time, they found acceleration difficult in the middle overs and the innings stalled. This left them requiring 109 from the last 10 overs which proved a mountain too high to climb.

Superstar opener Chris Gayle celebrates reaching his 49th ODI half-century in the final match against Bangladesh on Saturday. (Photo courtesy CWI Media)

“This is something we have to play special attention to [because] the way world cricket is, you have to get 300 runs as a par score and I just believe we should’ve gotten the runs …,” Holder lamented afterwards.

He added: “We lost momentum in the middle. Credit to Chris (Gayle), he played an outstanding innings and credit to Rovman (Powell) there at the very end.

“I think he gave all that he possibly could to give us a chance but we were a little slow in the middle and we weren’t able to tick over the scoreboard as quickly as we would have wanted to and then the scoring rate kept going up.”

Veteran Gayle was superb at the top of the order, stroking 73 from 66 balls with six fours and five sixes. He put on 53 for the first wicket with Evin Lewis (12) and 52 for the second wicket with Shai Hope who made 64.

However, once Gayle departed in the 22nd over, the innings slowed to a crawl as Hope consumed 94 deliveries in his knock, and Powell’s late flourish – an unbeaten 74 off 41 balls – came a little too late to save the Windies.

A 48-run defeat in the opener in Georgetown last Sunday had seen the Windies trail the series and even though they snatched a thrilling three-run result in the second ODI three days later, the hosts were not good enough to overcome the final hurdle.

“We struggled to put together a complete game throughout the series. We did well to get back in the series in the last game but we just weren’t good enough … in chasing the runs,” Holder explained.

“I felt 300 runs was a par score and I think the bowlers did as much as they could possibly do on a surface like this and an outfield like this but we still didn’t bat well enough in the middle period and gave ourselves too much work to do at the end.”

The loss was the 12th for the Windies in 17 ODIs inside the last 12 months and left them without a series win in four years.

In spite of the disappointment, Holder said there had been some positives, especially the batting of 21-year-old left-hander Shimron Hetmyer who topped the home side’s scoring charts with 207 runs at an average of 69, including a hundred in the second ODI.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do obviously but there were still a few bright sparks,” Holder noted.

“Shimron Hetmyer played outstandingly in the series, young Keemo Paul came into his own as well and Chris is still going as strong as he possibly can go and obviously Rovman in the last two innings that he played, so a few positives there but we’ve still got a lot of work to do.”

West Indies face Bangladesh in the three-match Twenty20 series beginning here tomorrow.

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