Cricket World Cup 2015

Windies put SA misery behind them

2015-02-26 13:25
Jason Holder (Gallo)

Sydney - Jason Holder is hoping to lead a very different West Indies side into Friday's Cricket World Cup clash against South Africa to that which was crushed 4-1 in a one-day international series last month.

The Caribbean islanders crumbled to a defeat by whopping 131 runs at Centurion in a humiliating end to the five-match series, which was 23-year-old Holder's first as captain.

After impressive World Cup wins over Pakistan and Zimbabwe eased the pain of the shock upset at the hands of Ireland, however, West Indies will approach Friday's match with something bordering on confidence.

"It's a different ballgame," Holder told a news conference at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday.

"We're into the World Cup. Now that South Africa (tour)'s gone, we have two wins, so we have some momentum going into this game. So I think both teams are basically on a level playground."

The victory over Zimbabwe in Canberra on Tuesday was driven by a record-breaking innings of 215 from opener Chris Gayle and his partnership of 372 with Marlon Samuels, who pitched in with 133 not out.

Gayle said after the match that a persistent back problem had contributed to his poor run of recent form and Holder, while not overly concerned about the chance of him missing out on the match, said the injury was being monitored.

Just to see the 35-year-old Gayle back blasting sixes - a record equalling 16 of them on Tuesday - was a real fillip for the whole squad, he said.

"It was a really good feeling not only to see him get a hundred, but going to get a double hundred.

"He's broken records, and he's set the path in world cricket in a sense. I think it's important that his success is crucial to our overall success.

"We love him, and he's a huge member (of the side) for us. It's good to have him."

With concerns about the top order batting eased, Holder said he would be looking to his fellow bowlers to up their game against the Proteas after letting the Zimbabweans to within 73 runs of victory.

Tall spinner Sulieman Benn, who missed the Zimbabwe match with a stiff back, would be a big help in controlling the run-scoring in the middle overs and could return for Friday's Pool B clash.

"There was no real damage towards his back, so that's a good sign for us," Holder said.

"Hopefully, we'll see how he pulls up tomorrow and we'll make a decision based on the conditions."

Read more on:    west indies  |  cwc 2015  |  jason holder  |  cricket


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