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CWC19 report card: West Indies

West Indies had the world warming up to their Calypso Beats leading up to the World Cup, but just couldn’t hit the right notes when it actually mattered.

Overview

A final tally of two wins in nine games doesn’t do justice to the potential they carried, with the tournament ending up being a string of missed opportunities for Jason Holder and team. As assistant coach Roddy Estwick stated before their final game, it was the inability to seize ‘big moments’ that cost them a berth in the semi-finals.

West Indies came agonisingly close on several occasions; against Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka, they were in dominant positions. Yet, they invariably failed to put on the final touches. Even a consolation win in their last game against Afghanistan couldn’t relieve them of a ninth-place finish.

Positives to take home

West Indies’ ‘never-say-die’ spirit almost carried them to improbable wins; Carlos Brathwaite and Nicholas Pooran pulled off near-stunners with the bat, a trait that has become the essence of their operating model in limited-overs cricket.

They might have shone only in parts, but West Indies’ young brigade (Pooran, Hope and Hetmyer) could well become batting pillars in the future. Their fast bowling, albeit a tad inconsistent, is a promising mix; Sheldon Cottrell and Oshane Thomas, unconventional as they are, did their bit with the ball.

Video cwc19 01 Jul 19
CWC 19: Sheldon Cottrell – A soldier's salute

Areas to improve

West Indies showed flashes of brilliance, but failed to sustain them. More than once, they let the game slip from a position of control, either with their loose bowling or with a muddled batting approach.

Despite an array of power-hitters, West Indies’ T20 mindset did not translate well across 50 overs, as the batsmen were guilty of throwing their wickets at crucial junctures, most notably in their chases against Australia and New Zealand.

In the bowling department, their largely one-dimensional approach couldn’t take them the distance. The pacers’ plan to bounce out of the opposition worked only in parts, and a wafer-thin spin attack could do little to correct it.

Rising star

Nicholas Pooran has been on the fringes ever since his U-19 days. The World Cup gave him a stage to showcase his talent, and Pooran left a mark. West Indies’ highest run-getter in the tournament, Pooran averaged over 52, and almost single-handedly took his team through to an improbable win against Sri Lanka with a splendid century. Apart from the ton, his vital contributions against England and Afghanistan highlighted his increased maturity as a middle-order batsman.

Video cwc19 01 Jul 19
CWC19: SL v WI - Oppo Be a Shotmaker: Nicholas Pooran

Results

31 May: v Pakistan, Trent Bridge, Nottingham - West Indies won by seven wickets

06 June: v Australia, Trent Bridge, Nottingham - Australia won by 15 runs

10 June: v South Africa, The Rose Bowl, Southampton - No result

14 June: v England, The Rose Bowl, Southampton - England won by 8 wickets

17 June: v Bangladesh, County Ground, Taunton - Bangladesh won by 7 wickets

22 June: v New Zealand, Old Trafford, Manchester - New Zealand won by 5 runs

27 June: v India, Old Trafford, Manchester - India won by 125 runs

01 July: v Sri Lanka, Riverside Ground, Chester-le-Street - Sri Lanka won by 23 runs

04 July: v Afghanistan, Headingley, Leeds - West Indies won by 23 runs

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Afghanistan fans celebrate a boundary during the 2019 Cricket World Cup warm up match between England and Afghanistan at The Oval in London on May 27, 2019.

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