Skipper Holder laments West Indies struggle to find 'complete game'
Sharjah (United Arab Emirates), Oct 3 (IANS) Captain Jason Holder has welcomed the improvement shown by his batsmen but said the West Indies were still searching for the "complete game" after going down to Pakistan by 59 runs in the second One-Day International.
Chasing 338 for victory at Sharjah Cricket Stadium here on Sunday, the West Indies managed to get up to 278 for seven off their 50 overs -- the best performance by their batsmen in the entire limited overs series, reports CMC.
With the victory on Sunday, Pakistan wrapped up the three-match series, having won the first match by 11 runs on September 30. The third match is on Wednesday.
However, Holder said the West Indies bowlers lacked discipline and this allowed Pakistan to post a strong target.
"We obviously didn't get it together in these two games. I felt in the first game we obviously let ourselves down with the bat. I think in this game the batsmen showed a lot more promise, a lot more fight but we weren't able to get over the line," Holder said after the match.
"If I go back to when we bowled, we leaked too many boundaries at crucial stages of the innings. I thought Shoaib Malik played an outstanding innings and he changed the impetus in terms of the middle overs."
"He put us under some pressure in the middle overs which we probably didn't react to as well as we would've liked," he said.
Veteran Shoaib blasted 90 runs off 84 deliveries with three fours and four sixes, an innings that left the West Indies virtually shell-shocked.
The right-hander helped put on 169 runs for the third wicket with Babar Azam who stroked 123 -- his second successive hundred -- as Pakistan rallied from 40 for two in the fifth over.
In reply, the West Indies got half-centuries from Darren Bravo (61) and Marlon Samuels (57) but buckled under pressure as the required run rate climbed above 10 after 30 overs.
"Chasing 330-odd you really need to stay up with the run rate. We fell behind but I thought we were still in the game with 20 overs left," Holder explained.
"We had bargained for 160-odd to chase in 20 overs or probably 180-odd in the last 20 but at the end of the day we were just a little bit too far behind and it was a lot to do for the lower half and I thought the Pakistani bowlers bowled well and made it difficult for us to hit."
He added: "I think we can tighten up a bit more on the boundaries that we leaked when we bowled and I think once we do that, we can make things a lot more competitive."