West Indies’ woes extended beyond their four-wicket to defeat to Australia in the tri-series game on Tuesday (June 21) after captain Jason Holder constant a hamstring injury during his team’s defense of 282. The 24-year-old all-rounder, who bowled two overs for 20 runs before trudging off the field, now faces a race against time to regain full fitness ahead of the must-win final league stage encounter against South Africa on Friday (June 24).
Holder’s injury left the hosts a bowler short as Australia, led by a 122-run fourth wicket stand between Mitchell Marsh (79*) and Steve Smith (78) and lower-order sparkler from Glenn Maxwell (46 off 26), gunned down the target with eight balls to spare, thereby confirming a slot in the tri-series final.
“I’ve nervous my left hamstring,” Holder said at the post-match presentation ceremony. “Hopefully, I’ll be ready for the game on Friday, still not sure at the moment. I think the bowlers made a very good attempt at trying to defend the runs. It was just unlucky we were one bowler short.
“Fletcher came on and slipped in three tight overs. In hindsight, he probably could have gone on for two more. Having said that we fought right down to the end with a bowler short, so credit must go to the bowling unit.”
That West Indies pushed the defending champions close for large parts of the game was chiefly due to Marlon Samuels’s gutsy 125 – his first century in any format against the opposition. The controversial batsman was spoken to by several of Australia’s close-in fielders, as he sought to rebuild his team’s innings along with Denesh Ramdin (93) after they’d slipped to 31 for 3. Samuels, who picked up his second successive man of the match award against Smith’s men, opined he was spurred on by the chatter but was quick to shift his focus to Friday’s virtual eliminator against South Africa.