Following a 4-1 drubbing of Australia, West Indies’ skipper Nicholas Pooran insisted that the hosts wanted to win the series 5-0 in dominating fashion but will settle for 4-1. While stating that the series was a good learning curve for him, he insisted that leg-spinners are champs in T20s.
Having taken a 3-0 lead in the series, the expectations were on the hosts - West indies - to pull off a whitewash against Australia, in a year where they will be defending their World T20 title in the Middle East. While the whitewash was halted by Mitchell Starc’s heroics in the fourth T20I, the hosts found themselves back in ascendancy with a convincing 16-run win in the final T20I to return to winning ways.
Posting a total of 199 in the first innings, spearheaded by Evin Lewis’ 34-ball 79, the Windies put on a dominant performance with the ball, with Sheldon Cottrell returning with figures of 3-28 while Chris Gayle bowled his three overs, conceding just nine runs. In the post-match presentation, Windies skipper Nicholas Pooran admitted that the team wanted to win the series 5-0 but will take a 4-1 win any day against Australia.
“Wonderful achievement. Especially after the last series, we played proper cricket. Leg spinners are champs in T20 cricket. We are very happy for Hayden. He has been working so hard on his bowling and I am very happy for him. We wanted to win 5-0, but we will take 4-1,” Pooran said at the post-match presentation.
Pooran also reckoned that leadership experience was tough, especially given the amount of information that he had to gather from across the board. He also insisted that he is mighty pleased for the entire group, including the support staff for their efforts in the series.
“Leadership is tough. It's tough when there's a lot of information to gather. You are not sure what is the correct advise at times. It was a good learning for me. I am happy and thankful for the information shared. I learnt different things and got to see the game in a different way - from captain's point of view. Can't single out anyone. So many T20 greats out there. Trevor Penney works so much off the field. Happy for the group.”
Evin Lewis was deemed as the player of the match, for his 34-ball 79, which saw the Australian bowling attack reduced to tatters. Barring the duck in the first T20I against Australia, Lewis returned with scores of 31 and 79, which left the opposition in tatters, especially with the strike rate at which he got the runs.
“Staying still, watching the ball straight onto the bat really worked for me today and feels good to contribute to a win. Been working extremely hard since 2017. I want to keep scoring runs and keep cashing in all times. Means a lot to me, this is the first series against Australia for me at home and scoring against these teams feel very good. We have a lot of confidence going into Pakistan series, but don't want to get overconfident and want to keep playing smart cricket,” Lewis said.
It was not the end of the party for the Windies, who also were left happy with the form of the leg-spinner Hayden Walsh Jr, who made a successful comeback in the shortest format, against Australia. Post the five games, the leg-spinner ended up with 12 wickets, at an average of 11.66 and an economy rate of 7, regaining his form and also won the Player of the series.
“Hard work is paying off. I have just been patient and when I get the opportunity, just run with it. The guys are happy to win 4-1. We were down against South Africa, but this series was quite good. This series I will hand it to Allen (best fielder in the team), but the next series I am definitely going to be up there,” Walsh Jr signed off.