West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard said his batters need to take stock and find a way to score runs after their batting failed to fire resulting in a five-wicket loss to Ireland on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method in the second game of the three-match One Day International series at Sabina Park in Jamaica, yesterday.
The Windies top and middle order batsmen continued to struggle for runs as the hosts were sent in to bat first and were dismissed for 229 in 48 overs.
Ireland dominated the chase so that when the rain came late in the day with the score on 157 for four off 31.2 overs, they were ahead of the West Indies.
When the teams finally came back to the field, Ireland needed just 11 to win off 28 balls after the target was reduced to 168 off 36 overs.
Ireland reached 168 for five off 32.4 overs to seal the win with Harry Tector continuing his good form with a second straight half-century in the series to anchor the chase for the visitors.
Tector who scored 53 in his team’s 24-run loss last Saturday, hit 54 not out yesterday as Ireland levelled the series at 1-1 with the final match to be played on Sunday.
Pollard said with the series on the line on Sunday “individuals need to find a way”
“The toss is going to be a massive factor. Obviously, there is going to be a lot of moisture here with grass on the track. I said before, our techniques would be tested and two games in two we found ourselves four wickets down inside the first 20 overs,” the West Indies skipper lamented.
“We spoke about how we want to try to combat that and we (still) found ourselves in the same position...We didn’t seem to have the answers in the first 20 overs. We need to take stock. There is no amount of words or excuses you can use. I take it on my chest, failing in this game and the rest of the guys have to do that,” he added.
Despite his disappointment with the top order batting display, Pollard had “special praise” for Romario Shepherd and Odean Smith.
“They came out and showed determination and hunger. We have things to work on in that dressing room but we need to put the pieces of the puzzle together from a batting perspective,” the West Indies captain concluded.
After losing the toss, the Windies were reduced to 111 for seven in the 34th over before Shepherd’s maiden 50 and Smith’s aggressive 46 helped the hosts rally to go past 200.
The West Indies big guns failed to fire in the middle overs with Shai Hope, Nicholas Pooran, Pollard and Jason Holder all falling cheaply.
However, Shamarh Brooks, who fell seven runs short of a debut century in the first ODI last Saturday, played another key innings, scoring 43 off 64 balls with five fours to keep the innings alive.
But he was trapped lbw by off-spinner Andy McBrine.
Akeal Hosein kept hope alive with 11 off 21 balls which included the first six of the innings which came off George Dockrell in the 38th over. However, he tried to pull McBrine and found Mark Adair at deep midwicket.
Smith then joined Shepherd to shift the momentum, setting the tone for final ten overs of the innings with back-to-back sixes off the first two balls he faced from McBrine.
He launched two more off right-am pacer Curtis Campher and another off Adair’s slower ball.
Smith was also given a life when he was dropped by Paul Stirling at deep cover off Campher when he was on 31. However the chance didn’t cost Ireland too much as the batsman was caught by Campher off Josh Little for 46 off 19 balls.
In total, Smith slapped five sixes and two fours and put on 58 runs for the ninth wicket with Shepherd.
After watching his team-mate score freely, Shepherd stepped up towards the end, top-scoring with his maiden ODI half-century, which he brought up with a reverse sweep for four off McBrine.
However, Shepherd departed off the very next ball bowled while trying to pull to the leg-side as the Windies failed to bat out their allotted 50 overs for the second time in the series, their struggles with the bat proving to be their downfall once again.