Pollard promises Windies resoluteness
West Indies Twenty20 (T20) captain Kieron Pollard says despite the opening loss, his side will continue to fight and put in a much-improved performance when the regional side meet New Zealand in the second of three T20 Internationals at Mount Maunganui tonight at 8:00 Jamaica time.
The West Indies went down by five wickets in their rain-affected 16-over-a-side encounter under the Duckworth-Lewis method in Auckland on Friday.
The regional side first posted 180 for seven after which New Zealand, set 176 to win, reached 179 for five in 15.2 overs.
It was captain Pollard who led the West Indies attack, hitting a career-best unbeaten 37-ball 75, with opener Andre Fletcher contributing 34, and Jamaican Fabian Allen getting 30, batting at number seven.
Lockie Ferguson was the main destroyer for the Kiwis with the ball, bagging five wickets, but it was Jimmy Neesham with a quick-fire 48 from 24 balls and new boy Devon Conway with 41 from 29 balls that clinched the contest for the hosts.
Jamaican speedster Oshane Thomas, who has been looking a lot trimmer recently, was the pick of the bowlers, bagging two for 23, while compatriot Sheldon Cottrell picked up one for 30.
Pollard made it clear that his bowling unit let the team down in what he thought was a defendable total, with seamers Keemo Paul and Kesrick Williams being the main culprits.
Paul, who bowled four no-balls in the 14th over, went for 39 runs in his three overs, while Williams conceded 33 runs in just two overs.
Pollard lamented that while some aspects of the team’s game were OK, things have to improve for tonight’s second game if they are to square the series.
“I thought it was an entertaining game of cricket for the fans,” he said. “It was something they have not got for a long time. In terms of our discipline and the bowling aspect of things, it was a bit erratic and undisciplined, and in international cricket, if you bowl so many no balls and you are inconsistent with your execution, you are definitely going to end up on the losing side.”
Pollard added that the umpiring in the opening game also left at lot to be desired, with the officials getting some calls incorrectly, including a leg-before-wicket shout against Pollard which was eventually overturned by the Decision Review System.
The Trinidadian told reporters that the situation will not daunt his team, and they will continue to press on.
“I want them (umpires) to be consistent and I am asking for some consistency,” he said. “We are the visiting team and some things you expect, so we will continue to fight and hopefully, the fight will allow us to get over the line in the next game and set up ourselves for the third and final game.”