West Indies captain Carlos Brathwaite has rued the batting failure of his team in the first T20 against Pakistan in Dubai and said it was “poor execution” and a failure to “assess conditions quickly enough” that led to them being bowled out for 115. West Indies had only two batsmen scoring in double-figures as left-arm spinner Imad Wasim ran through their line-up with figures of 5 for 14.
“[We lost because of] poor execution, [their] good bowling, you know we are an aggressive, exciting team, two games ago we scored 240 odd and today we scored 115,” Brathwaite said. “We have ebbs and follows ups and downs, today it just didn’t come off for us. I don’t think we assessed the conditions quickly enough. Majority of the shots didn’t show situation awareness.
“I don’t want to just say we didn’t bat well, credit must go to Imad Wasim who bowled fantastically, anytime you get 5 for 14 in an international match you must be doing something right, and to get it in a T20 international is even better. But these things happen. We are an aggressive team and I won’t tell any of the guys in the room to lose their aggression, it is just a matter of being more situation aware going into tomorrow’s game.”
Wasim opened the bowling for Pakistan and got a wicket with his fifth ball, before striking twice in his second over to dismiss Andre Fletcher and Marlon Samuels. He struck twice in an over again when he bowled Kieron Pollard and then snared Brathwaite in the tenth over to complete his five-for. Brathwaite said Wasim’s familiarity with the West Indies batsmen because he played the CPL had given him an edge.
“Imad had a head start on us, playing CPL for Jamaica Tallawahs. He knew our batsmen, and we knew him as well, and planned for him, and on the day his execution was better than ours,” Brathwaite said. “We didn’t execute it the way we wanted to. On some other day those same shots could have gone for boundaries and sixes and if we were 45-50 odd for 1 after six overs, setting a beautiful platform to go on and score 140-150 which looked like would have been a winning total on the surface today.
“We are an aggressive exciting team, when it comes off it looks fine, but you have days like these when it doesn’t come off. There is no blame to point, we had a slow start and we lost the game. We keep our chin up, move forward, and look ahead to tomorrow’s game.”
The main positive for West Indies was Dwayne Bravo’s 54-ball 55 while batting with the tail, taking the score from 15 for 3 to 115 . The only substantial support he got was from No. 10 Jerome Taylor, whose 66-run partnership with Bravo salvaged the innings from 48 for 8. They batted together for 7.5 overs and scored at a run rate of 8.42 before Taylor was bowled by Sohail Tanvir in the last over.
“Anytime a team is 20-odd for 5, they need a herculean effort by two, three guys,” Brathwaite said. “I know we had that today from Bravo getting 50-odd, Jerome Taylor played a fantastic innings, and to be honest defending 115 is always going to be difficult. We tried our best, it didn’t quite come off today, our batters didn’t play very well, the key was getting early wickets. I tried my best as captain to switch around the bowlers and mix it up so that batsmen don’t get accustomed to one bowler. That didn’t work and fantastic work from Khalid [Latif] and Babar [Azam].
“Because we had one bad game it does not dent the belief we had in the 11 guys that took part, we understand that in professional sport you have ups and downs, today was a definite down for the team,” he said. “We didn’t play like world champions, we didn’t play like the No. 1 team in the world, and the result shows. Well played to Pakistan and tomorrow we will bring a better game.”