West Indies captain Jason Holder put his team’s six-wicket defeat yesterday down to their shot selection as much as to Australia’s spin bowling on a slow surface at the Providence Stadium in Guyana.
West Indies’ innings followed a similar pattern to that of South Africa’s on Friday. The hosts lost ground after reaching 50 for 1 in the 12th over as Nathan Lyon and Adam Zampa sent them tumbling to 116 all out in 32.3 overs.
“If you went through the dismissals, there were quite a few soft dismissals,” Holder said at the post-match press conference. “The Australians challenged us in terms of building pressure, but I don’t think they got us out with any spectacular balls, per se. We just played some horrible shots out there at a crucial stage of the game which cost us our wickets.”
With only 116 to defend, Holder was forced to open with Sunil Narine, his trump card. Narine, who had picked up a career-best 6 for 27 against South Africa, continued his good form since his international comeback, finishing with 2 for 36 in 10 overs. West Indies’ bowlers fought hard, but Holder admitted the chances of successfully defending were next to impossible.
“We never really got any partnerships going. Just not enough runs on the board, to be honest. The bowlers didn’t really have anything to bowl at, although we tried really, really hard and did get four of the Australians’ wickets. I thought Sunil Narine came in and did an excellent job for us in the end and we got some wickets upfront.”
After the 44-run second-wicket stand between Darren Bravo and Jonathan Charles was broken, the best West Indies could manage was 20 for the ninth wicket, between Carlos Brathwaite and Narine. Holder said a little more application from the batsmen and one good partnership in the middle order could have provided security, with the bowlers carrying confidence from bowling South Africa out for 188.
“I think anywhere between 210 and 220, we backed ourselves to defend,” he said. “Previous games we played here, there were not many that were high-scoring. Obviously, the first game we played, one team only got 180-odd and we managed to win the game in the second-last over.
“I think we’ve bowled reasonably well for the first two games; the bowlers have really put up their hands. It’s just important for the batsmen to build partnerships, especially up front, and just give ourselves some cushion in the middle and be able to blast at the end with the power we have in the dressing room. But the most important thing for us is to get some partnerships going up front and let the momentum flow through the mid-innings.”