Cricket Sports

‘Tough’ road ahead for Windies: Holder

Captain Jason Holder conceded Monday that West Indies faced a “tough” path to the World Cup semi-finals, after producing a lacklustre display against Bangladesh to suffer a disappointing seven-wicket defeat.

The Caribbean side have now suffered three losses in their five outings while winning just once, and are seventh in the 10-team standings on three points. More daunting is the fact two of their four remaining fixtures are against unbeaten powerhouses India and New Zealand.

“It’s looking tough at this present moment, but it’s not impossible,” Holder told a media conference here.

“We have to play every game here now as a final. We’ve got to win every game left to give ourselves a really good chance.

“I don’t obviously want to leave it down to other teams or rely on other teams to help our result, but we’ve just got to control what we can and that’s playing each game as a final.”
Shai Hope top-scored with 96 from 120 balls while opener Evin Lewis with 70 and Shimron Hetmyer, 50, chipped in with half-centuries to propel West Indies up to 321 for eight off their 50 overs.

Bangladesh then produced their highest-ever successful run chase in ODIs to overhaul their target in the 42nd over, with Shakib-al-Hasan slamming an unbeaten 124 off 99 balls and Liton Das stroking 94 not out off 69 deliveries.

Holder said despite getting over 300 runs, the Windies had fallen short of posting a really strong total.

“I felt that at the halfway we were still a few short. Probably I reckon a par score on this on this wicket, with the dimensions of the ground [was] probably 360, 365, maybe 370, and we were well short of that,” he explained.

“We knew up front in the first ten overs we had to really knuckle down and get through that period. That probably was the toughest period of the innings. But I think we should have been able to rotate the strike a little bit better and find the boundary with a little bit more freedom.”

He added: “Having said that, with 321 on the board, we still had to go out there, fight and make a game of it. We needed new-ball wickets. We didn’t get it today. They batted well. Shakib came in and played really well and Liton Das played really well so you still gotta give them credit.”

West Indies opened with an impressive victory over Pakistan but their campaign has since gone off the rails with defeats to Australia, England and now Bangladesh, and a rain-abandoned game against South Africa where only 45 balls were possible.

Their moment of reckoning will come in Manchester when they face New Zealand in their next match on Saturday before clashing with India five days later.

Holder said to reach the semi-finals, the Windies were well aware they would have to take down two of the tournament’s strongest sides.

“They’re a good team,” he said of India. “But if we want to get through into the semi-finals, we’ve got to play good cricket. We’ve got to beat the best teams. India obviously is going to be a tough game. We’ve got New Zealand as well.

“We’ve just got to back ourselves and be a lot more clinical with the ball, and still go a lot further with the bat. As I said before, I think we’re still a few runs short when we bat. I don’t think we’ve got a batsman with a [century] yet. These are things that we need to correct.”


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