West Indies captain Kieron Pollard was left singing the Powerplay blues after his team failed in a run chase for the second time in two days, to lose their T20 series against Afghanistan yesterday.
Set 157 for victory in the third and final T20I in Lucknow, India, the Windies laboured to 127 for seven to lose the match by 29 runs and the series, 2-1. And in his post-match comments, Pollard pointed to his side’s early-innings struggles as the cause of the failure.
“It was a similar situation from yesterday (Saturday),” he said. “Again we found ourselves in a hole, not being able to capitalise on the Powerplay, and then we were always playing catch-up from there.”
Opener Lendl Simmons (seven) and No.3 Brandon King perished inside the first six (32 for two), while Evin Lewis (24) was dismissed in the eighth over. Shai Hope (52)—who came into the side as a replacement for the hamstrung Denesh Ramdin —was the only one of the top four batsmen to get a substantial score.
“I can’t fault the effort of the bowlers,“ Pollard added. “I think the guys dug in and they did well. Again it’s just something we have to look at in terms of our batting, but having said that the guys would have taken a lot from this series, a lot from the pitch and the way it plays and how we need to play going forward in terms of assessing conditions quickly.”
As to where the T20 team goes from here, Pollard said: ”Sometimes we want to think too far ahead. At the end of the day, as a team we need to know what sort of cricket we want to play and try to win games...We have a long-term plan but we have to deal with what’s in front of us right now.
“Unfortunately we didn’t get over the line in this series, it’s just a matter of taking what we need to take from this series, dumping what we don’t need and moving on from there as a team.” The Windies will complete their assignment against the Afghans with a one-off Test match starting November 27. And Pollard had some words for that squad which will be led by Jason Holder.
“What we need to do is focus on our strengths and what we need to in order to beat Afghanistan,” said the white ball skipper. “That group of guys, they’ve been together for a couple years well. They have been doing well as a Test team. They would have seen what they (Afghanistan) have to offer and they know what they have to do. The guys are in good spirits, the guys are already over here, they have been training...I just want to wish them all the best but again, to my team, well played to us. Yes, we ended up on the losing side but...(we have to) pick up ourselves and move on from here.”