STAND-IN West Indies T20 team captain Nicholas Pooran is urging his teammates to “learn fast” after they were soundly beaten by 63 runs in their opening T20 International against hosts Pakistan at the National Stadium, Karachi on Monday.
Both teams will meet in the second T20 on Tuesday, with the third and final match scheduled for Thursday - all at Karachi.
Pakistan amassed 200 runs for the loss of six wickets, and then dismissed the new-look WI T20 squad for 137, with one scheduled over remaining.
Asked, during the post-game interview, about any likely improvements for Tuesday’s game, Pooran replied, “Definitely learning fast, learning from this experience. Everyone knows we have a young bunch but it comes down to execution.”
He continued, “I can’t really fault the guys too much. I loved the effort, energy and intent but it’s just for us to learn as fast as possible and come back (on Tuesday) with better plans to execute.”
The West Indies, without seasoned campaigners Kieron Pollard (skipper), Dwayne Bravo, Chris Gayle, Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons, Andre Fletcher, Evin Lewis, Fabian Allen, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder and Obed McCoy (from their ill-fated T20 World Cup title defence a few weeks ago), lost three members of their squad – Sheldon Cottrell, Kyle Mayers and Roston Chase – on Saturday due to positive covid19 tests.
With Pooran at the helm, and Barbadians Shamarh Brooks and Dominic Drakes on debut, the Pakistanis showed little mercy on their depleted guests.
Taking first strike, the Pakistanis relied on a third-wicket partnership of 105, off 10.2 overs, between Mohammad Rizwan (78) and Haider Ali (68), as well as the inexperience of the WI bowling attack, to post an imposing total. Mohammad Nawaz chipped in with an unbeaten 30, while pacer Romario Shepherd was the leading wicket-taker with 2/43.
Pooran commented, “I thought we gave away 20 runs in the field. Eight boundaries (were scored off) edges so we felt a bit undone there. I still felt we could have chased 200.”
The West Indies’ reply was unconvincing at best, with Shai Hope scoring 31, Odean Smith 24 and Rovman Powell 23. Fast bowler Mohammad Wasim claimed 4/40 and leg-spinner Shadab Khan 3/17.
According to Pooran, “In the eighth and ninth over, the ball definitely spun a bit and we lost momentum there. That was the turning point in the game.”