Bridgetown (Barbados), Jan 23 (IANS) West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard said after his side’s nine-wicket victory over England in the opening T20I that this is the “blueprint” he wants his players to adopt going forward.
West Indies made a perfect start to the five-match T20I series with new-ball bowler Jason Holder coming up with his career-best T20I bowling figures of 3.4-1-7-4 and opening batter Brandon King scoring his second T20I half-century.
Holder’s bowling reduced the tourists to 49/7 before Adil Rashid and Chris Jordan took them to 103 with a 36-run partnership. But it wasn’t sufficient to deny West Indies an emphatic win.
“That’s the blueprint we ask guys to put up. Really happy for the guys. To come out and win a match isn’t easy; to see the young guys come out and finish it off was fantastic. Sheldon (Cottrell, 2/30) coming back in, Jason (4/7) showed his quality. These two bowlers were phenomenal, and then backing it up in the field.
“Sometimes when you get four wickets early guys can relax, but they know the importance of sticking to plans. This is just the first of five (T20Is), but winning games isn’t easy at all. Brandon King did well in Pakistan, and being able to finish the game is something we’re trying to inculcate.”
Speaking after being named the ‘Player-of-the-Match’, Holder said, “I was happy to see the ball go through the way it did. In the Caribbean these days, sometimes you struggle to see the ball go through like that. We had a really perfect day to be honest. It’s not much I can really pinpoint that we did wrong. The challenge is being consistent and repeating it tomorrow.”
Pollard won the toss and chose to bowl and was backed up by his men superbly with the ball, restricting the English 26/4 in the Powerplay. England seemed to be heading towards a record low at 49/7 in the 12th over but Barbados-born all-rounder Chris Jordan hit three sixes in 28 off 23 balls while Adil Rashid chipped in with an 23 off 18 balls to get the innings into triple figures.
The two teams will meet again on Monday (IST) in the second match of the series at the same venue.