West Indies captain Kieron Pollard said undisciplined bowling was at the heart of his side’s five-wicket loss against New Zealand in the first Twenty20 International on Friday.
Ragged bowling sunk the Windies, after an explosive batting display from Pollard defied a devasting spell from Lockie Ferguson to drag them back into contention in the rain-marred contest at Eden Park.
Pollard cracked four fours and eight sixes in 75 from 37 balls to help the Caribbean side post a competitive 180 for seven from their allocation of 16 overs.
But the West Indies captain could find no consistency from the bowlers and the New Zealanders successfully chased a Duckworth/Lewis/Stern Method-revised target of 176 with four balls remaining to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
“First, I thought it was an entertaining game for the general public, something that they have not gotten for a very long time,” Pollard said.
“In terms of our disciplines and the bowling aspect of things, I thought we were a bit erratic…and in international cricket, if you bowl so many no-balls and you are so inconsistent with your execution, you are definitely going to end up on the losing side.”
He added: “On this ground, what is enough? It’s a bit small. Having them go at 10 or 11 runs an over at the start, you want to get a couple of wickets and put them on the backfoot, which is what we did.
“I just thought that we were not disciplined enough with our bowling to stay in the game a bit longer and carry it down to the end. Sometimes you can go at 12 or 13 very comfortably, and when it is crunch time, the pressure (gets) the better of you. Coming down to the end, a couple less boundaries and we would have been in the game.”
The Windies top-order batting was undermined by consistently fast bowling from Ferguson, whose five for 21 from his allotted four overs was a career-best and made him a shoo-in for the Player-of-the-Match award.
Pollard said the fast bowler used the helpful conditions to good effect and the visitors will have to reorganise their plans to remain competitive in the series.
“When bowlers have their tails up, you have to try something sometimes,” he said about his approach in his innings. “You only have to make one mistake and that’s it.
“But he bowled pretty well. The rain and the nature of the pitch also helped as well. The opening bowlers were on the shorter side, but he changed his length and bowled a bit fuller, and that’s why he was successful.”
Pollard said: “It’s a daunting task, but these are the times for which we train and the situations for which you train that when your team is in trouble, you try to get them out of it.
“We have to (reorganise our plans) in terms of the bowling aspect and try not to lose wickets in clusters. These are conversations that we continue to have, but as the game goes on, these things happen from time to time.”
The series concludes with back-to-back matches this coming Sunday and Monday at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.