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Gutted by Tri-Nations failure

Trinidad Express / Captain Jason Holder said West Indies were “gutted” by their elimination from the Tri-Nations Series, but urged his players to use the disappointment as time for personal reflection as they tried to regroup. Needing to beat Zimbabwe on Friday to reach today’s final against Sri Lanka, West Indies went down by five runs under the Duckworth/Lewis method, to see their challenge fizzle out at Queens Sports Club. West Indies started the tournament with a convincing victory over Sri Lanka but tied their second game against Zimbabwe and lost their third to Sri Lanka by a single run before rain and carelessness ensured their demise in their final outing. “(We are) very disappointed. It’s tough to be in this position after starting the tournament so well,” a dejected Holder told a media conference afterwards. “At the beginning of the tournament, we all thought we could have won the tournament and to be in this position now, we’re absolutely gutted. It’s just a situation where we need to look at ourselves in the mirror, see where we fell short, bring that forward into the New Year and see how we can come together again and perform better.” West Indies reduced Zimbabwe to 127 for eight in the 37th over but then allowed the hosts to recover through a record 91-run, unbroken ninth wicket stand between Sikandar Raza (76 not out) and Tendai Chisoro (42 not out). In reply, West Indies fell behind in their run chase by losing wickets steadily, and were short of the required 130-run Duckworth/Lewis target on 124 for five when the rains arrived to end the contest for good. While admitting to the Windies’ bad luck throughout the tournament, Holder conceded his side had also let themselves down in several areas. “Luck really wasn’t in our favour in some instances. Things that we could control, I don’t think we fielded well throughout the entire tournament consistently. We were a bit scrappy at times,” he pointed out. “[In Friday’s game], Zimbabwe got too many runs and we didn’t bat smart enough in the situation, we lost wickets at crucial stages. I think some credit must be given to Zimbabwe for the way they strategised going about their innings, to get the spinners on earlier and get through their overs with the talk of weather around.” With rain threatening, it was Holder who entered at the fall of the fifth wicket to up the tempo, striking three fours and a six in an unbeaten 22 off 17 deliveries. And while he said he thought the game could have continued amidst the steady drizzles, he accepted the umpires had the final say. “The weather never really changed throughout the entire day but the umpires used their discretion at the end of the day and I couldn’t get involved. It was their decision,” he said. “They thought it was becoming a little bit slippery for the fielders. I was willing to play through it—I felt that we could’ve stayed on and played through out—but again it’s beyond my control.” He continued: “At the beginning of the last over … I knew I had to get as close as possible to it (D/L target) but there was still a risk because we didn’t want to lose a wicket as well. “I knew at the end of the over we needed to be 130-odd and I had word from the umpire—he did say if it continued in that vein they would consider going off—so for me I was trying to get there but still not lose a wicket. I was between a rock and a hard place.”

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