MANCHESTER, England, (CMC) – Carlos Brathwaite’s monumental hundred against New Zealand on Saturday did not take captain Jason Holder by surprise.
“His work ethic is really good. He’s not one to shy away from his responsibilities,” Holder told media here following West Indies’ five-run defeat at Old Trafford.
“And he puts in a really good effort into his preparation. And that’s one thing that I credit him for. The knock that he played today is not surprising to me.
“I guess everybody could sit here and agree that we’d love to see that a little bit more often but that’s the general feeling within the entire group.
I think as a team we just need to be a lot more consistent but seeing Carlos play the way he did doesn’t really surprise me. It’s just a matter for us to bring it together more often.”
In 31 previous One-Day Internationals innings, Brathwaite had never hinted at what was to come on Saturday, with just a single fifty to boast of and an average hovering around 15.
Against all odds, however, he unveiled a magnificent 101 off 82 balls to nearly single-handedly take West Indies to an amazing victory, after their innings lay in ruins at 164 for seven in the 27th over in pursuit of 292.
In one over from Matt Henry – the 48th of the innings – he savaged 25 runs including three sixes, to put the equation firmly in Windies’ favour.
But with six runs needed from seven balls, he went for glory only to be caught on the ropes at long on by Trent Boult off seamer Jimmy Neesham.
“We fought right down to the very end. We came right back into the game when pretty much everyone thought the game was over,” Holder said.
“And credit to the lower half. The guys really put it in their hands today and took responsibility. [It was] top-notch by Carlos. He was outstanding. He gave us a chance, gave us hope and just unfortunate at the very end that we weren’t able to get a win.”
West Indies appeared out of the contest when opener Evin Lewis, batting at number eight due to injury, holed out to deep mid-wicket without scoring at 164 for seven.
However, Brathwaite strung together a series of partnerships with the lower order – adding 47 for the eighth wicket with Kemar Roach (14), 34 for the ninth wicket with Sheldon Cottrell (15) and 41 for the final wicket with Oshane Thomas (0 not out), to revive hopes of a win.
“We were all hopeful at the very end. We were way behind the eight ball in the middle overs. I think when Carlos came to bat he had more than 20 overs to bat [and it was just] a situation for him just to knuckle down and get a partnership,” Holder said.
And credit to Kemar, I thought they put on a really good partnership … and it really brought us back into the game. And obviously Carlos and Sheldon and then Carlos and Oshane.
“And these things really gives us a lot of hope, and they obviously make us very, very proud to know that the guys can fight very, very hard down to the end.
“Just a little disappointing, obviously, not being able to cross the line, after coming so close but I’m proud of the guys.”