Windies need solutions to middle overs dilemma: Brathwaite

Veteran stroke-maker Marlon Samuels trudges off after being dismissed in Sunday’s third Twenty20 International as Bangladesh fielders celebrate. (Photo courtesy CWI Media)

LAUDERHILL, Florida, CMC – Captain Carlos Brathwaite has lamented West Indies’ batting failure which led to their series 2-1 loss to Bangladesh here Sunday night, stressing the Caribbean side needed to find solutions to their poor strike rotation during the middle overs.

For the second time in as many nights at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium here, the reigning Twenty20 champions failed to execute properly in a run chase and collapsed to a 19-run defeat under Duckworth-Lewis-Stern system.

“I didn’t think it was our smartest batting performance. Obviously with [Nazmul Islam] going off through injury, we had to stack it up well enough that we forced the three overs and three balls that were remaining and obviously try and take them down as best as possible,” Brathwaite said afterwards.

“[Soumya] Sarkar came in and bowled two quality overs but even at the back end, needing 30 for 40 off the last three [against] a ‘part-timer’ we still think we could have won the game. “I didn’t think we kept enough wickets in hand but kudos must go to [our] bowlers after they start that they (Bangladesh) had. We were staring down the barrel of 210-220. To pull it back to 185 was a hell of a job.”

Chasing 185, West Indies lost three early wickets to slump to 32 for three in the sixth over before Andre Russell blasted 47 from 21 deliveries to try to rescue the innings.

Rovman Powell chipped in with 23 and Denesh Ramdin, 21, but the overall effort proved an impotent one, and it allowed Bangladesh to be ahead on DLS when rain intervened with the Windies on 135 for seven at the start of the 18th over.

“The bowling unit has been fantastic but with the bat we still need to be a little more sure with our plans especially to spin,” the all-rounder pointed out.

“Rotating in the middle overs has always been our achilles and obviously going away now to Bangladesh and India [later this year] it will be even more important for us to find ways to execute in the middle order against the spin.  “I think we are getting closer and closer to finding that proper plan that will help us to get through the middle overs a lot better.”

West Indies were undone at the start of the contest when Man-of-the-Match Liton Das smashed 61 off 32 balls to give Bangladesh a hasty start.

His knock set the tone for the innings with Mahmudullah striking an unbeaten 32 and captain Shakib-al-Hasan, 24, to get the visitors up to a competitive total.

Brathwaite conceded that Bangladesh had outplayed the Windies at crucial points.

“There will always be little points when you can say you could’ve done things differently … but that’s cricket. Sometimes you have to hold your hand up and give credit to the opposition,” he noted.

“We got the better of them in the first couple power-plays with the ball, they obviously came up with different plans, executed them and they worked so kudos to them but also kudos to my bowling attack who pulled it back admirably.”

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