Holder thinks poor bowling execution led to Windies defeat to Bangladesh

Jason Holder
File: Windies skipper Jason Holder is congratulated by Chris Gayle (SportsMax)

(Jamaica Observer) Lack of execution by the bowlers was the major takeaway after West Indies were steamrolled by Bangladesh in Monday’s Cricket World Cup match at County Ground.

The Bangladesh top order deserves credit too — Shakib Al Hasan and Liton Das, with unbeaten knocks of 121 and 94, respectively, were fearless, and hit the ball with imperious timing in their seven-wicket win.

Despite the odd half-chance, it was a stroll in the park that carried them to 322-3 in response to the West Indies’ 321-8. The mood they were in a 400-run target would not have been safe.

West Indies captain Jason Holder, who said the team total was short by roughly 50 runs, was clear on what he felt was another major downfall.

“In hindsight you could sit here and ponder on a few things. No, I think the [bowling attack] balance was not an issue today. As I said, we didn’t execute. Execution for me today was the issue. And it hurt us in the end,” the 27-year-old all-rounder said during the post-match press conference.

Shakib, 32, having a dream World Cup so far with bat and ball, also weighed in.

“They [the West Indies] were either too full or too short. We knew they [short balls] were going to come and we were prepared for these challenges,” he said.

“At certain times they bowled well [and] they bowled in good areas. But I thought they were not patient enough to bowl in good areas for longer periods of time.”

The West Indies management team gambled and lost when they dropped a bowler to play an extra batsman.

It meant that if West Indies were to bowl 50 overs they had to rely on Andre Russell — known from here to Timbuktu to be ailing with chronic bad knees — and part-time spinner Christopher Gayle to share 10 overs.

There was the option to rest Russell and play Carlos Brathwaite. But on the flip side, the West Indies have been reluctant to sideline the talismanic all-rounder.

Their big risk made was drawn into focus as West Indies delivered wayward after wayward ball to the Bangladesh batsmen. There was no option B, and they were left to stick with what clearly wasn’t working.

Questioned whether a specialist spinner would have helped, Holder noted that Shakib aside, the Bangladesh spinners struggled in overcast conditions on a green-tinged pitch.

“No, I think the quick bowlers could have done their job. If you look at their spinners, they didn’t cause much a threat. Shakib is the only one, I think, who got wickets. Mehidy [Hasan] struggled; we pretty much scored off him freely. So, no regrets there,” he explained.

Perhaps boosted by beating West Indies seven times of out nine heading into Monday’s game, Shakib said the team was unbothered at the half-way stage, despite the 300 plus target in front of them.

“We had a lot of confidence in the dressing room — a lot of belief that we could chase it down. At no point in time did we panic, that was the best part of this chase, I think. The wicket played well today, and we could play our shots in the gaps,” he said.

West Indies, with three points from five games, are almost out of semi-final contention, while Bangladesh (five points) kept alive their hopes.

The West Indies next game is slated against New Zealand at Old Trafford on Saturday. Bangladesh is set to face Australia at Trent Bridge tomorrow.