Holder bemoans lost opportunity


NOTTINGHAM, England – West Indies captain Jason Holder was left ruing “irresponsible shots” which contributed to his side’s failed run chase and eventual 15-run loss at the hands of Australia in their second match of the World Cup today.

Chasing 289 for victory at Trent Bridge, West Indies collapsed from 190 for four in the 35th over to 273 for nine off their allotted 50, after losing five wickets for 66 runs.

“I’m obviously disappointed. I thought we were well in the game there at the lunch time stage [but there were] just a few irresponsible shots when we probably just needed to tuck it around a little bit more,” Holder said afterwards.

“But having said that I think they’re lots of positives that came out of this game. We were obviously disappointed with the way we lost but I still think there are lots of things we can take from it (defeat).”

Shai Hope top-scored with a patient 68 off 105 deliveries, Holder stroked a breezy 51 off 57 balls while Nicholas Pooran struck 40 from 36 balls but none of the three could get West Indies over the line as left-arm seamer Mitchell Starc snatched five for 46 to undermine the innings.

West Indies were also guilty of loose shots at crucial moments in the late stages of the encounter. Pooran holed out to point in the 20th over to end a promising 68-run, third wicket stand with Hope, who also fell to a soft dismissal in the 35th over, chipping seamer Pat Cummins to mid on.

Andre Russell also played an injudicious stroke and holed out to point in the 39th over, with West Indies in a strong position to press for the win.

With 37 runs required from 27 balls, Carlos Brathwaite (16) hit a low full toss from Starc into long on’s lap before Holder pulled an ordinary ball to short fine leg three balls later.

Holder said while the defeat was disappointing, he hoped his side could use it as a learning moment as they progressed in the tournament.

“I think learning just needs to take place. Guys just need to learn from the mistake that they make,” Holder said.

“[They need to] take a little bit more responsibility, and chasing especially, you just need to take responsibility, and it’s important that one of the top four batters be there at the very, very end.

“I think one of the things we can take from the Australians’ performance was that Steve (Smith) batted quite deep and that’s something we need from our top order. I think Shai Hope has been outstanding in that regard, but it didn’t go his way today.

“I think credit must be given to Australia. I thought they came back and bowled really well with the old ball and created problems for us. We had to decide what we wanted to do in terms of playing it, or taking it on or just knocking it around. But credit must be given.”

West Indies were on top in the initial stages after winning the toss and opting to bowl, as their seamers produced a hostile opening burst to reduce Australia to 38 for four in the eighth over.

Brathwaite finished with three for 67 while fellow pacers Russell (2-41), Sheldon Cottrell (2-56) and Oshane Thomas (2-63) all finished with two wickets each.

“I think the bowlers are bowling really well at the moment,” Holder noted.

“The good thing for us is that we’ve been getting some early wickets and we’ve been able to get wickets in the middle as well. I just think we just need to be aggressive, continue to be aggressive – smart aggression – and just continue to look to take wickets.”

The defeat was the Windies first in the tournament following their opening win over Pakistan at the same venue last week, and Holder conceded his side had squandered a golden chance.

“We definitely missed an opportunity. I just think that’s sport. We’ve just got to learn from it. It’s a bit disappointing to be losing a game like that when we’re in full control of the game, but these things happen.” (CMC)

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