“A learning curve”- Pollard on overcoming dot-ball conundrum

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In pursuit of 158 on Saturday, West Indies reached 150-4, and soaked up 50 dot balls in the process, while Pakistan had just 36 in their innings of 157-8.

It meant Pakistan took the series lead after they defeated the Caribbean side by seven runs in the second T20 International at the National Stadium, Providence.

Over the previous three series, the lack of strike rotation was a topical issue, especially when they lost close encounters, but as it stands, the power-hitters are lacking the finesse to tick the strike over.

Captain Kieron Pollard, speaking at the post-match presser, indicated they are still learning, but they are making strides, and he hailed the effort of Shimron Hetmyer and Evin Lewis.

Nicholas Pooran top-scored with 62* off 33 balls striking, six maximums but it still was not good enough to get them over the line.

“We could have gotten a couple more singles and boundaries, but having said that the guys really fought through and we talked about finding a way and fighting and in the middle period I thought that was impressive,” Pollard relayed.

Pollard added: “I think it is a learning curve for us; we came out on the losing end this time, but there are some things we see we can continue to work with.”

With ball in hand, West Indies continue to show consistency, which has elated the skipper, as they managed to pull back Pakistan from 85-1 in the 10th over.

“I just thought the way the guys came back in the back 10 [overs]; obviously we stared down the barrel of a 170-180 and on a track like this that would have definitely been too much. The way the guys bounced back showed that we continue to be consistent in that part of the game.”

The skipper, who opted to field first, said the pitch didn’t change much during the run-chase, but rather “dried out” and the Pakistanis used the angles and bowled straight lines.

From the visitors’ standpoint, veteran Mohammad Hafeez, who won the Man-of-the-Match award for his spell of 1-6 off four overs, which had 19 dot balls, said knowledge of the conditions assisted.

Hafeez had stints with the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the past.

“Being here many times, I know the pitches are tough against the spinners [and] it is always difficult for the batsmen to take risks; either he gets out or score some runs but still as a spinner, if you do the basics well and back yourself, there is a chance you could put batsmen under pressure.”

The off-spinning, all-rounder added it was “a little bit more comfort” bowling against a procession of left-handers, as criticisms surfaced as to why West Indies did not attempt to reshuffle their batting order given the success Hafeez was having against the lefties.

The third T20I is on Sunday (August 1) from 11:00h at the National Stadium, Providence.

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