World Cup 2019: We have shown some fight in this entire campaign, says Holder

With hopes of making it to the last-four stage already over, West Indies plays Afghanistan in its last game in Leeds on Thursday.

West Indies skipper Jason Holder celebrates with Chris Gayle after dismissing his Sri Lankan counterpart Dimuth Karunaratne.   -  AFP

The disappointment was clearly visible on Jason Holder’s face as he faced the reporters after West Indies’ defeat against Sri Lanka on Monday.

Chasing a mammoth total, West Indies got strikingly close to the target, with young Nicholas Pooran playing a gritty knock of 118. But as his side once again ended up being on the receiving end, Holder admitted that such close finishes seem to be the trend in the World Cup, this year.

“We have had a few close games, but we have just been unable to get over the line. You can look back in hindsight and pinpoint a number of areas in this game. I don't think we fielded particularly well…” the captain said.

“We probably gave 30 to 40 runs in the field. When we were batting, I felt we were always in the game with a shout and we just lost wickets at crucial stages and, you know, you can also say that the run-outs were probably gifted wickets, and probably what we didn't want at that stage,” Holder said.

In the tournament, West Indies players have time and again showed character. At Old Trafford last week, Carlos Brathwaite’s blitzkrieg almost got West Indies got closer to the finishing line.

And at the Riverside, it was young Pooran, who stole the show even as the team suffered yet another defeat.

“We have shown some fight in this entire campaign. I am proud of certain individuals who have definitely put their hands up and put their heart on the line. And that is what we want. We want guys to just give their all,” he said.

“When you leave the cricket field, make sure you don't have anything in the body left to be given. And credit to Nicholas. I thought he played an outstanding innings today. He batted maturely and he got boundaries, you know, he knocked it around as easily as he possibly can,” Holder said.

The skipper also heaped praises on Fabian Allen, who slammed a half-century before being run out. That eventually tilted the match Sri Lanka’s way.

“A knock like what Fabian played, is exceptional as well. Again, unfortunate with the run-out. But (in West Indies cricket), the young talent is there. It's just a matter for us to bring it together more often and get over the line,” Holder said, making it clear that it is disappointing to lose games despite such fine show by different individuals.

Pop icon, Rihanna had come to the Riverside to cheer for the West Indies. She even interacted with a few players after the game. While the team was surprised to see her, Holder welcomed her gesture.

“It was a pleasant surprise. It was great to see her here. I just want to personally thank her for coming out. It’s not easy for a celebrity to come down to Durham to watch the West Indies play. But I'm sure the boys felt her presence in the stands and she came down to the dressing room as well and met quite a few of the players and that was also refreshing,” the captain said.

With hopes of making it to the last-four stage already over, West Indies plays Afghanistan in its last game in Leeds on Thursday.

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