‘I needed to put my hand up’
Pooran leadership brings first Windies victory
West Indies vice-captain Nicholas Pooran said he was happy that he could have performed for the team, which led to the regional side winning their first match by three runs against Bangladesh at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, yesterday.
Pooran scored a brisk 40 runs from 22 balls, with one four and four sixes, to claim the Man-of-the-Match award, as the West Indies posted 142 for seven, and then defended the total, thanks to a brilliant final over from Andre Russell, which restricted Bangladesh to 139 for five.
Both sides entered the contest with two losses from as many games, and an outright duel was expected, and the sides did not disappoint with the encounter literally going down to the final ball.
The West Indies, who were asked to take the first strike, lost early wickets. However, debutant Roston Chase, with a steely 39 from 46 balls, along with Pooran, gave the innings some much-needed impetus. That momentum was also aided by some lusty blows towards the back end from Jason Holder (15 not out) and Kieron Pollard (14 not out), who left the field and returned to hit the final ball of the innings for six.
The Windies scored 58 runs, which included seven sixes, with three of those maximums coming in the final over, in the last five overs.
TRUMPS OF THE DAY
For Pooran, it was full time that the team came out of their batting shell, and he was glad that he could be the one to come up trumps on the day.
“In this tournament, our batting hasn’t clicked yet, so we were chopping and changing,” he said after the match. “Today, I felt like as a cricketer and a batsman, I needed to put my hand up. Someone had to take that responsibility, and I was happy that I could perform for the team.”
With an attainable total to defend, the West Indies picked up two wickets for 29 runs in the power play. However, Liton Das looked intent on taking Bangladeshi over the line with a brisk innings of 44 from 43 balls.
He and captain Mohammad Mahmudullah, who was unbeaten on 31, threatened to get the job done. However, the Bangladeshi, who wanted 13 runs off the final over, managed to score just nine runs, thanks to some brilliant bowling from Andre Russell.
For Pooran, who led the team in the field due to the absence of the injured Pollard, getting the first points on the board was vital for the defending champions.
“I must commend the guys, everyone gave me their full support,” he said. “We knew how important this game was, and all hands were on deck. Unfortunately, we didn’t take all our catches, but the belief was there and we backed our experience to close off the game.”
The West Indies will next face Sri Lanka on Thursday.
C Gayle b Mahedi Hasan 4
E Lewis c Mushfiqur Rahim b Mustafizur Rahman 6
R Chase b Shoriful Islam 39
S Hetmyer c Soumya Sarkar b Mahedi Hasan 9
*K Pollard not out 14
A Russell run out 0
+N Pooran c Mohammad Naim b Shoriful Islam 40
D Bravo c Soumya Sarkar b Mustafizur Rahman 1
J Holder not out 15
Extras (b1, lb6, w7) 14
TOTAL (7 wkts, 20 overs) 142
Did not bat: A Hosein, R Rampaul
Fall of wickets: 1-12 (Lewis), 2-18 (Gayle), 3-32 (Hetmyer), 3-62, 4-62 (Russell), 5-119 (Pooran), 6-119 (Chase), 7-123 (Bravo)
Bowling: Mahedi Hasan 4-0-27-2 (w2), Taskin Ahmed 4-0-17-0, Mustafizur Rahman 4-0-43-2 (w2), Shoriful Islam 4-0-20-2 (w1), Shakib-al-Hasan 4-0-28-0 (w2).
Mohammad Naim b Holder 17
Shakib Al Hasan c Holder b Russell 9
+Liton Das c Holder b Bravo 44
Soumya Sarkar c Gayle b Hosein 17
Mushfiqur Rahim b Rampaul 8
*Mahmudullah not out 31
Afif Hossain not out 2
Extras (b2, lb1, w8) 11
TOTAL (5 wkts, 20 overs) 139
Did not bat: Mahedi Hasan, Shoriful Islam, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman
Fall of wickets: 1-21 (Shakib), 2-29 (Mohammad Naim), 3-60 (Soumya Sarkar), 4-90 (Mushfiqur Rahim), 5-130 (Liton Das)
Bowling: Rampaul 4-0-25-1, Holder 4-0-22-1 (w2), Russell 4-0-29-1, Hosein 4-0-24-1, Bravo 4-0-36-1 (w2).
Result: West Indies won by three runs.
Points: West Indies 2, Bangladesh 0.
Man-of-the-Match: Nicholas Pooran.
Umpires: Adrian Holdstock, Rod Tucker; TV – Paul Reiffel.
ICC Men’s T20 World Cup standings:
TEAM M W L PT NRR
England 2 2 0 4 3.614
Australia 2 2 0 4 0.727
South Africa 2 1 1 2 0.179
Sri Lanka 2 1 1 2 -0.416
West Indies 3 1 2 2 -1.598
Bangladesh 3 0 3 0 -1.069
South Africa v Sri Lanka 5 a.m.
Australia v England 9 a.m.