Feels like a win for us: Pooran proud of West Indies despite three-run defeat

by IANS |

Port of Spain (Trinidad), July 23 (IANS) In the pursuit of chasing 309, West Indies fell short by three runs in a thrilling first ODI against India at Queen's Park Oval. In what would have been the highest successful ODI chase at the venue, West Indies were stopped by pacer Mohammed Siraj defending 15 runs off the final over to seal a narrow win for the visitors.

After the match, captain Nicholas Pooran said the match result felt "like a win" for his side despite ending up on the losing side. West Indies had entered the series against India in Trinidad after their 3-0 defeat to Bangladesh in Guyana earlier this month. He added that using full batting quota of 50 overs and coming close to 308 were the biggest positives for the hosts.

"It definitely feels like a win for us. Bittersweet (result), but yes we keep speaking about batting 50 overs and today we batted 50 overs and made 300-plus. It is difficult to lose but we will take this one.

"As a group we are rebuilding and trying to figure out ODI cricket and coming up against the top teams in the world. (In the match) we did justice to our talent and just looking forward to the other games. Hopefully, we can go from strength to strength," said Pooran to broadcasters in the post-match presentation ceremony.

Pooran maintained that West Indies always had the belief that they could chase down 309. In their batting innings, Kyle Mayers (75) and Brandon King (54) hit fifties while Pooran himself chipped in with a cameo of 25. Hosein (32 not out) and Romario Shepherd (39 not out) shared an unbroken 53-run stand off 33 balls for the seventh wicket, which wasn't enough to deny India a close victory.

"Definitely (on belief of chasing 309). We need to believe in each other and not only in ourselves. We're trying to get closer as a unit, trying to develop something here that could be special eventually. I keep telling everyone that this is our story and this is our journey and it's going to have a lot of challenges. But I'm just happy that we're going forward in the right direction."

At 213/1 in 33 overs, it looked like India would get a total of around 370-380. But West Indies fought back, thanks to Alzarri Joseph, Jayden Seales, Akeal Hosein and Gudakesh Motie picking wickets and varying their pace and lengths to restrict India to 308/7 in 50 overs.

"Definitely I must give credit to the bowlers. We didn't get to the best start in these conditions. We understand it was really good batting track, but we did speak at the second water break and said we want to restrict them to 315 and actually to get them to less was commendable.

"Motie, Akeal and Alzarri -- everyone came and executed their skills today. Really proud of the effort today after coming from the Bangladesh series. We spoke about (ticking) different boxes. We ticked three boxes actually: fielding, batting 50 overs and executing at the death," concluded Pooran.

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