Cricket’s Holy Grail – 5: Diffident Windies




West Indies Cricket

West Indies Cricket

Since Kapil Dev’s men clinched the world cup in 1983 from the jaws of West Indies, they have never looked as a winning unit in the world cup. If we go according to statistics West Indies had a 100% winning record in the first two editions and after 1983 they have not won more than 50% of their matches till now in any edition of world cup. West Indies was never among the favourites in this version of World Cup not even in the last edition when World Cup was in their country giving them a huge home advantage.

The Caribbean started their world cup journey with their first encounter against the proteas. The South Africans handed over West Indies their first defeat of World Cup and a pathetic start to the cup. Chasing a modest target of 222 the Africans never looked in a state of concern as they cruised to their target with 7 wickets in hand. Neither their batsmen nor bowlers were able to leave a mark. The won their next three matches on trot against three minnows. With their second match against the Netherlands they opened their points tally. The batsmen scored heavily and the bowlers bowled in right areas to gain some confidence. Kemar Roach became a star overnight by picking up his first career hat trick.

Their next match was against Bangladesh. And I can never forget that match. The question raised was “Bangladesh is Evolved or Dissolved?” More than West Indian effort, it seemed the Bangla tigers have done to give everything for the Caribbean to be proud of. Lowest total of the tournament and a day night match ended in the day only. Their encounter with the Ireland did not look like a convincing victory as only few batsmen were able to make runs and rest fell like nine pins. It was the bowling of Benn and Sammy which helped them finally to win the match.

The next three matches were tough ones. They lost to England in a very close encounter. The match was just about your nerves in last moments. They were able to restrict Englishmen to a modest total. The chased very well, by their solid partnerships and responsible batting. They lost the match due to the failure of their lower order. The last 5 batsmen could have shown some more grit to finally reach the target. Their match against the India was also a similar one; this time the victory margin was too much. The Indian Left Hander Yuvraj Singh scored briskly and was well supported by Virat Kohli on the other end. When it comes to chasing West Indians have lost this art it completely. They faced Pakistan in the first Quarter who made a mockery of West Indies batting line up. No one except Chanderpaul, Sarwan and Roach were able to get to double digit scores. With 112 to defend on the board, it needed a herculean effort to stop the Pakistani Juggernaut. The West Indies seemed off colour the whole tournament and never rose to their countrymen’s expectation. Hope for a better show from them in the next edition.

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