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West Indies Captain Rovman Powell, speaks at the post-match press conference following West Indies’ loss to South Africa. (Photo via CMC)

Rovman Powell: Batting performance to ‘forget’

June 24, 2024

NORTH SOUND, Antigua, CMC – Captain Rovman Powell said West Indies’ batting effort in Sunday’s Super Eight defeat to South Africa was one to quickly forget, but said the surface at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground was a “difficult wicket” which left both teams struggling to adjust.

Asked to bat first in the do-or-die final match of Group Two, West Indies could only muster 135 for eight off their 20 overs, and South Africa won by three wickets under Duckworth-Lewis-Stern, after stumbling to a revised target of 123 off 17 overs, following a 1-¼ hour rain break.

“I think credit have to be given to the boys, I think they fought to the very end,” said Powell, who was dismissed for one to complete a poor outing in the tournament.

“As a batting group, this is one batting performance we’ll try our best to forget. We didn’t bat well in the middle overs especially.”

He continued: “I think it’s just a case of the wicket not being an easy wicket to bat on, to be honest. It needed a little bit more grit, a little bit more determination than we showed. 

“If you should look on how both teams batted on it, even South Africa kind of struggled to get the 136 runs that we made. It wasn’t the easiest of surfaces but as players we have to adapt and come up with solutions.”

West Indies lost leading batsman Shai Hope and Nicholas Pooran cheaply with only five runs on the board in the second over but were lifted by the dependable Roston Chase who top-scored with 52 from 42 deliveries.

Opener Kyle Mayers made 35 from 34 balls in his first game of the tournament but once his 81-run, third wicket stand with Chase ended, West Indies fell apart with Powell, Sherfane Rutherford (1) and Andre Russell (15) of the remaining specialist batsmen, all failing.

“You see both teams batting on the wicket. Obviously it wasn’t an easy wicket, especially to get a start on,” Powell pointed out.

“But I think in the middle overs we faltered, we [lost] wickets in clusters – the first time for the competition we have lost wickets in clusters – and that always breaks the back of a batting team.”

West Indies started the tournament strongly, marching through the group stage undefeated before suffering the first blip in an eight-wicket loss to England in their opening Super Eight fixture in St Lucia.

Also sent in on that occasion, the West Indies batting once again stuttered with no batsman getting out of the 30s, resulting in a total of 180, which England easily overhauled.

Describing the defeat as a “wake-up” call, Powell said it had also proven to be the turning point of the Caribbean side’s campaign.

“I think the defeat against England was very disappointing for us as players but also it was a wake-up call,” the Jamaican said.

“It was a wake-up call because we were playing consistently good cricket so it showed us that ‘hey, in T20 cricket anything is possible.’

“But looking back now in hindsight we can say that two points against England was very, very important because we see how the group [has] come down.

“But having said that, each and every game in the Super 8s we know it was going to be tough. We know each and every game in the Super Eight was always important.”

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