KANDY, Sri Lanka (CMC) – Captain Kieron Pollard has praised West Indies’ efforts despite losing the final One-Day International here Sunday and suffering another embarrassing series whitewash to Sri Lanka, but says consistency needs to become key to his side’s approach.
Bidding to avoid a clean sweep after losing the first two matches in Colombo and Hambantota, West Indies failed to chase down a challenging 308 here and slipped to a six-run loss in a dramatic finish at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.
They needed 13 runs from the final over and Fabian Allen, who struck a cameo 15-ball 37, hit a boundary off the first ball but perished off the very next delivery, leaving the run chase to fizzle out.
“You’re always disappointed when you lose a cricket game but when you look at it, cricket is a game of its and bits and we fell short a little bit in terms of in the field – we should have restricted them to 280, 290 and it would have been a different chase,” Pollard said afterwards.
“Having said that, the way the guys went out to chase this total even though it was 300-plus was a good effort from each and every batsman.
“They went in there and showed that sort of intent and my question would always be: why can’t we do that from the start? (The game) is a blueprint for us but again, I’m very disappointed to lose 3-0.”
Sri Lanka got half-centuries from Kusal Mendis (55) and Dhananjaya de Silva (51) after captain and opener Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera both scored 44 to provide a pleasant start to the innings.
Fast bowler Alzarri Joseph snatched four wickets but conceded 65 runs from his 10 overs while pace bowler Jason Holder picked up two wickets but was also guilty of being expensive, leaking 68 runs from his full complement.
Pollard said the Windies attack had lacked consistency throughout and needed to continue addressing this area of their game.
“I think you have to be consistent. Even though you take pace off the ball, you still have to hit that kind of area as well on a consistent basis,” he explained.
“And I think we’ve been kind of inconsistent as a bowling lineup, in terms of the guys not setting up the over in the way we want guys to play. That has haunted us for a bit, we spoke about it but these things happen.”
The series defeat was the second straight one for the Windies on Sri Lankan soil after Holder’s side suffered an identical fate five years ago, and it left the Caribbean side still without a series win in the Asian nation.
However, Pollard said it was important to now turn the page and focus on the two-match Twenty20 International series starting tomorrow..
“(The ODI series) is done and dusted but what I can say is that we look forward to the T20 format,” he said.
“We have a couple guys that have come back into the team, guys who’ve been around the world playing T20 cricket (but) now they’re back in the maroon.
“It’s very exciting for us. Hopefully we can come out and show that type of intent and determination and try to leave Sri Lanka with something.”