South Africa Keshav Maharaj

‘TRICK’ BALL: South Africa Keshav Maharaj begins to celebrate as West Indies’ Joshua Da Silva looks back to see Wiaan Mulder, at leg slip, diving to his right to grab a one-handed catch. The Proteas spinner became only the second South African to claim a Test hat-trick, yesterday, the fourth day of the second Test, at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia.:—Photo: CWI MEDIA/PHILIP SPOONER

“We are very sorry”.

Those were the sentiments expressed by West Indies skipper Kraigg Brathwaite to the fans of West Indies cricket after the regional side slumped to a heavy 158-run defeat to South Africa yesterday, to lose the two-match Test series 2-0 at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia.

The Windies were defeated by an innings and 63 runs inside three days in the first Test and again it was the team’s poor batting that was the main culprit.

“The bowlers did a fantastic job and for me, at number one, not spending time (at the crease) at all...we are very sorry,” Brathwaite said when asked what he would say to the fans following the defeat.

Brathwaite pointed out that batting will be a major focus of concern ahead of the next series against Pakistan and said they will have to use the down time wisely to try and get up to scratch.

“Obviously, the fans look forward to West Indies doing well and stuff and we were disappointing. But we promise, as batsmen, to work on different stuff and come back and show that fight. Sometimes it is not all about winning but still you want to see the fight and we didn’t show that at all. So, we’ve got to come back better and make the fans proud,” Brathwaite explained.

He also lamented the lack of partnerships in the batting, and he said the poor performance with the bat was not something he expected to see after the fight they would have shown in the previous Test series against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

“I certainly didn’t do as well I would have liked for the team and, as a batters, if you look at the numbers and the partnerships, we had one 50-run partnership. So, I obviously never expected that but these things happen and it is important we learn from that in terms of the dismissals and getting better at (negotiating) the different deliveries that may be coming down from the bowler,” Brathwaite assessed.

“I think in the three series thus far we learned a lot. We won one, drew one and lost one, up to this stage, and I think it is very important we learn from this series. Obviously, the main thing is the batting and as a team we fell short,” he continued.

“We were magnificent in the field taking catches and with the bowling, but we let ourselves down with the batting. We can look at the dismissals as batsmen, but we’ve got to learn from them and that’s key. You can’t win all but you still want to show fight and determination which we didn’t. It is still a learning process, but we don’t want to use that as an excuse. We’ve got to come better, and we’ve got a few weeks to get ourselves in order,” he added.

“Part of the plan was obviously to bat better and have consistent partnerships and some big ones between, but we didn’t have any. We didn’t do well as batsmen. We didn’t do the job. We let ourselves down and we let the team down and the people and the fans. We have a couple of weeks before the next Test series (against Pakistan) and we’ve got to come back better,” the West Indies skipper concluded.

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