Scrappy West Indies live to fight another day

It took three sixes in the final over of West Indies’ innings to make a crucial difference. All three came with Mustafizur Rahman erring in length, trying to go too full as Jason Holder and an injured Kieron Pollard went big on the leg side.

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Before them, West Indies reminded everyone of their reputation through Nicholas Pooran. Twice he slog-swept Shakib Al Hasan’s left arm spin for sixes, and got two more, lofting Mahedi Hasan’s offspin for the same result.

With as many as seven sixes and just three fours in their total of 142, West Indies were playing to their six-hitting reputation. What the match did though was showcase West Indies’ depth yet again. Pooran and Holder came in at numbers 7 and 9 to hit six sixes between them. West Indies managed 58 runs in all in the final five overs thanks to their power-hitting depth.

“Definitely a tactical move batting down. Our batting hasn’t clicked so far and we have been chopping and changing. Match Tips Free I felt like I had to raise my hand up and perform for the team after Polly left. I have been working very hard. I have been doing a lot of right things. I hadn’t been doing justice to myself. I have always been positive about my skills and attitude,” Pooran said in the presentation ceremony after the match.

But on a pitch that was slow and low, Bangladesh had managed to neutralise that six-hitting advantage with their boundary count as well, with both teams hitting 54 runs in boundaries in all. In a game decided by a fine margin, very little separated the two erring sides.

“If Liton’s last shot would have been 6 — I thought it was probably 6, but that’s an advantage when you have 6’5″ or 6’7″ tall fielder in your outfield who can catch. So I think probably that was one crucial moment in that catch,” opined Mahmudullah, Bangladesh’s captain. Liton, on 44 then, had been caught inches inside the boundary by a leaping Holder.

“And in T20 games you have the sort of close calls every now and then. Unfortunately, we came second today, but I think probably if me or Liton got into the last over, we were both set, [it] would have been a different story. Having said that, probably Russell nailed his yorkers quite well,” added Mahmudullah.

Asked if the final over where West Indies took 19 off Mustafizur was the turning point, Holder said, “Yeah, you could sit back in hindsight and say a few things.

“The last over was obviously very important for our momentum. We were able to get three 6s, as I said, which helped us get up to a respectable total. I felt like 140 was a very good total,” he said, and added, “I think with our bowling attack we could defend that, and it proved to be enough. So credit to our batters for getting us up to 140, and then also credit to the way we stuck at it and held our nerve.”

With many-a-missed chances and misfields dotting either innings, both teams had moments where they seemed to have lost control of the match. But a final yorker by Russell eventually got West Indies home, earning them the rare, sweet taste of victory while defending a total.

The method of victory apart, the defending champions welcomed the result that put an end to their bad start to the tournament. And Holder summed it up. “This win means a lot to the team. Teen Patti Play We’re obviously in a do or die situation, having to win the last remaining games. So it’s good to start this one off. It was a close encounter. Nevertheless, we got over the line.”

Author: Judd Allen