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Immaturity lets down a brilliant West Indies

509   //    23 Jun 2019, 18:54 IST

Carlos Brathwaite is distraught after his heroics failed to secure Windies a win.
Carlos Brathwaite is distraught after his heroics failed to secure Windies a win.

When all seemed lost at 164/7, Carlos Brathwaite refused to give up the chase. West Indies had been cruising at one stage of this thriller of a match at Old Trafford, chasing New Zealand's challenging total of 291.

However, a familiar foe took over to thwart West Indies' hopes once again — the foe of immaturity that has let a talented side down and prevented them from otherwise well-deserved victories.

Poor shot selection

At 142/2 and with a run rate of over six per over, West Indies were cruising to victory. That is before Shimron Hetmyer committed harakiri. His unnecessary slog off a Lockie Ferguson slower delivery that precipitated a collapse which led to the loss of five wickets for 22 runs. It was disappointing to see the impetuosity on display with captain Jason Holder and senior pro Chris Gayle, who had blasted his way to an 84-ball 87, perishing to aggressive strokes when caution was the need of the hour.

Thereafter, Brathwaite, who had also taken two wickets in the game, took over a seemingly impossible task of resurrecting the chase but seemed unfettered by the high-pressure situation. The allrounder, who had famously blasted four sixes to help West Indies win the World T20 title in 2016, never stopped playing his shots and his astonishing counter-attack included many lofted sixes as he brought up his maiden ODI century.

But with nine wickets down and the team needing six off the last over, Brathwaite tried to finish it off in style with another six over long on, but was caught well by Trent Boult.

It was heartbreak for Brathwaite who had played one of the best knocks of the Cup, but questions still need to be asked about his shot selection. With 6 required, he could have looked at finding the gap for a boundary rather than going for all or nothing. But that's how West Indies have played in this World Cup.

Persistent problem

The Windies threw away a victory against Australia after doing all the hard work, thanks to a spate of similarly poor shots. Andre Russell, for example, tried to blast to victory when a calmer head was the call of the moment. Even the bowling has sometimes suffered with poor decision making with the pacers bowling short all the time while defending a 300-plus total against Bangladesh — a decision that cost them dearly. Even senior players of the team have been guilty of rash decisions, or else this dynamic bunch might have been in the run for the semis.

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