Leaked too many boundaries at crucial stages against Pak, admits Holder

Sharjah [UAE], Oct.3 : West Indies skipper Jason Holder has admitted that his side leaked too many boundaries at the crucial stages which led to their 59-run defeat against Pakistan in the second ODI of the three-match series at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium last evening.

"If I go back to our innings when we bowled, I just felt we leaked too many boundaries at a crucial stage of the innings," Holder was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

Holder, however, credited Pakistan's swashbuckling batsman Shoaib Malik for changing the momentum of the game in true sense and serving as the catalyst in his side's series-clinching win.

Opting to bat first, Malik smashed a blistering 84-ball 90 runs besides sharing a huge 159-run stand with Babar Azam (123) for the third wicket to propel his side post a daunting target of 338 runs.

Sarfraz Ahmed (unbeaten 60) was another notable contributor for Pakistan. In reply, the Azhar Ali-led side restricted West Indies to 278 runs within their stipulated 50 overs. While praising Malik's outstanding innings during the crucial match, Holder admitted that the Pakistan all-rounder did manage to pile some pressure on his side in the middle overs.

"I thought Shoaib Malik played an outstanding innings. He changed the impetus in terms of the middle overs. I think he put us under some pressure in the middle overs which we probably didn't react to as well as we would like," Holder said.

The Caribbean skipper, however, defended his tactics when asked if he had attacked enough inside the Power play.

Holder believes Sulieman Benn, who was his most successful bowler in the first ODI, was also held back by Malik.

"Our most successful bowler in the last game was Sulieman Benn and he was taken to by Shoaib Malik. Again I thought Shoaib truly changed the momentum of the game there. I didn't think Benn bowled badly but I just think he got on top of Benn at that stage. I went to my two wicket-takers and Sulieman Benn at that stage. He got the better of Benn today," said Holder, who contributed unbeaten 31 and two wickets for his side.

Holder also couldn't stop himself gushing over Babar Azam, who top-scored with his second century in as many games.

The 24-year-old, who earlier encountered Azam at the junior level, said that the Pakistan batsman should be credited for the way he assessed the conditions and took his time while playing.

"I first saw Babar a couple years ago in Under-19 cricket and he scored a hundred against us there. He's a good player. I felt he played really really nicely. He assessed the conditions quite well and he took his time. He was able to take his time in both innings. He had lots of overs to bat and I think credit must go to the way he played," he insisted. Despite the defeat, Holder remained positive about the improvements that his side have made from the first ODI, which Pakistan won by 111 runs.

While highlighting Alzarri Joseph's debut figures of two for 51 in eight overs, Holder said that although the Caribbean side had done well in certain periods, they needed to find more consistency to be on a winning side.

The two sides will play inconsequential third ODI at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday..

Source: ANI