Holder: Every match is a final now

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by: Vinode Mamchan, Taunton, England

DEJECTED!
West Indies captain Jason Holder, centre, lead his players walk off dejected after losing the Cricket World Cup match between West Indies and Bangladesh at The Taunton County Ground, Taunton, south west England, yesterday. (AP)
DEJECTED! West Indies captain Jason Holder, centre, lead his players walk off dejected after losing the Cricket World Cup match between West Indies and Bangladesh at The Taunton County Ground, Taunton, south west England, yesterday. (AP)
David Davies

The West In­dies may be on the brink of be­ing oust­ed from the 2019 ICC World Cup but they still have a chance to step in­to the se­mi-fi­nals if they can win their re­main­ing four match­es.

Skip­per Ja­son Hold­er was still hope­ful his side could achieve this goal even af­ter their crush­ing sev­en-wick­et de­feat to Bangladesh at Taunton on Mon­day. Speak­ing dur­ing the post-match press brief­ing, Hold­er said from now on his team would play every match like a fi­nal to give them­selves an out­side chance of mov­ing on, as one more loss and they will be com­plete­ly out of this tour­na­ment.

“It is look­ing tough at this present mo­ment but it’s not im­pos­si­ble,” Hold­er said.

“We have to play every game as a fi­nal. We have to win every game left now to give our­selves a good chance and we don’t want to re­ly on oth­er teams to help us. We have to con­trol what we can.”

Hav­ing been put in to bat at the Coun­try Ground in Taunton, the West In­dies post­ed 321 for eight be­fore Bangladesh pulled off the joint sec­ond high­est chase in ICC World Cup his­to­ry to leave the re­gion­al side’s hopes of reach­ing the fi­nal four hang­ing by a thread, as they face ta­ble-top­pers New Zealand and In­dia next.

Hold­er said, “I felt at the halfway mark that we were still a few short. A par score on this wick­et with the di­men­sions of the ground was prob­a­bly 360 or 370 and we were well short of that.

“We knew in the first ten overs we had to knuck­le down and get through that dif­fi­cult pe­ri­od. But we should have been able to ro­tate the strike rate a bit bet­ter and find the bound­aries more of­ten.”

Shai Hope top-scored with 96 from 121 balls but Hold­er was frus­trat­ed with his scor­ing rate due to the fact that the ground is one of the small­er ones in the tour­na­ment.

He said, “It was good that Shai went deep but he could have shown a lit­tle bit more in­tent. We lost wick­ets at cru­cial stages and we need­ed one of the top four play­ers to go to the end. Un­for­tu­nate­ly, it wasn’t enough.”

West In­dies had no front­line spin op­tion and the quick bowlers de­liv­ered plen­ty of short-pitched balls that Bangladesh’s bats­men dealt with se­vere­ly.

But Hold­er de­fend­ed the bal­ance of his team, say­ing: “I felt the quick­er bowlers should still have done the job – their spin­ners didn’t pose much of a threat.

“I don’t think the bal­ance was the is­sue to­day. The ex­e­cu­tion was the is­sue and it hurt us. We need­ed new-ball wick­ets which we didn’t get. But they bat­ted re­al­ly well and you have to give them cred­it.

“We missed a cru­cial chance when Shak­ib (Al Hasan) top-edged down to fine leg off (An­dre) Rus­sell ‘s bowl­ing and Shan­non (Gabriel) should have come in and tak­en the catch. A few top edges didn’t go our way but we didn’t help our­selves in the field ei­ther.”

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