Sunday, May 26, 2024

ICC: Jason Holder rallies the West Indies for crucial first win

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Photo Credit: BCCI

Having only been drafted in as an injury replacement two days ago, Jason Holder produced a fantastic all-round performance as the West Indies snuck home for a three-run win over Bangladesh.

The former captain came into the squad to replace Obed McCoy who was ruled out of the tournament with a shin injury on his right leg and his services were immediately called upon as he was promoted into the side ahead of Hayden Walsh Jr.

He impressed with bat, ball and in the field as the West Indies kept their hopes alive having lost the toss and been put into bat by Bangladesh who also needed a win to have any chance of making the semi-finals.

Holder came into bat at number nine, with just ten deliveries remaining and was immediately into the thick of it facing a hat-trick ball from Shoriful Islam with the West Indies on 119-6.

Having successfully defended that ball, the 29-year-old saw fellow new batter Dwayne Bravo go four balls later and out walked an injured Kieron Pollard who had previously retired hurt.

With five balls to go, Holder smashed back-to-back sixes off Mustafizur Rahman, with Pollard adding another maximum off the final ball to see the Windies post a respectable total of 142-7 and Holder add runs that would prove crucial.

The Bajan all-rounder was just as important with the ball, conceding just nine off his first two overs as one of the opening bowlers.

In the field he proved useful too, taking the catch of Bangladesh legend Shakib Al Hasan, himself struggling with injury, as the West Indies claimed their first wicket of a see-sawing run chase.

Holder was also a calm head as the Windies looked to keep their nerves in check, with captain Pollard off the field injured and Nicholas Pooran behind the stumps as the stand-in captain.

In Holder’s third over, he took the wicket of opening batter Mohammad Naim, who went for 17 off 19 balls, again going for just three runs from those six deliveries.

In his final spell, he was a little more wayward bowling two wides before Mahmudullah hit his last delivery for four.

Still, he ended with figures of 1-22, the best of any of the Windies’ bowling attack and his best moment was yet to come.

With just seven deliveries left and Liton Das on the charge on 44, Holder stretched his six-foot-seven frame to claw Das’ ball out of the sky.

In doing so, he stopped a certain six, claimed a crucial wicket and, in the end, helped the West Indies to victory. Without that catch, it is hard to see how they would have come out on top.

For the final act of a nail-biting match, Holder was a keen observer watching on as Andre Russell was called upon to defend 13 from the final over. 

He did so on the final ball, getting the ball past the outside edge of Mahmudullah to earn a dot ball and deny Bangladesh the boundary they needed.

Thanks to the contributions of Nicholas Pooran, who made 40 off 22 balls, Russell and Holder the West Indies live to fight another day as they look to defend their 2016 crown.

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