‘Heartbreaking, but there are positives’ | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 24, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, June 24, 2019

‘Heartbreaking, but there are positives’

Carlos Brathwaite said on Saturday he would take confidence from his valiant 101 that took West Indies close to victory only to lose the World Cup thriller by five runs against New Zealand.

Brathwaite set up an exciting game with his 82-ball blitz after West Indies slipped to 245 for nine in their chase of 292 at Manchester’s Old Trafford.

He smashed five sixes and nine fours for his maiden ODI ton, but fell to paceman Jimmy Neesham in trying to get the winning hit in the penultimate over as Trent Boult took a good catch just inside the long-on boundary.

“Obviously bitter sweet. For me personally, for my confidence,” Brathwaite told reporters in the mixed zone. “As a result of all the hard work I’ve been putting in it’s finally good that it comes to fruition.

“Obviously, I’m devastated not to get over the line,” said the Barbadian. “I thought it had enough bat on it. I was willing it to go up and up and up but that was one of the best fielders in the world out there. It’s a game of margins. One or two yards more, we would have been victorious tonight (Saturday).”

“For me personally, for my confidence, as a result of all the hard work I’ve been putting in it’s finally good that it comes to fruition,” he said. “Obviously, I know I can (do it), I never stopped working so it’s good to see your hard work pay off. I am averaging 45 in test cricket so I think I can handle the bat a bit,” he said.

“As it is a century in a losing cause it is bittersweet. I’m not going to beat myself up, because the ball should have gone for six and we should have won,” he said.

Brathwaite, famous for his four sixes in the final over of England’s Ben Stokes in the 2016 World Twenty20 title win in Kolkata, kept his team’s hopes alive. He dominated the last-wicket stand of 41 with Oshane Thomas, who remained unbeaten on nought, to give the Kiwis a real scare.

“Give credit to the lower order. Everyone believed we could get over the line,” said Brathwaite. “Obviously heartbreaking to get so close but not get over the line (but) there were some positives. The fight that the lower order showed was commendable.”

The 30-year-old sank to his knees after getting out and was consoled by the New Zealand unit led by Kane Williamson.

“The New Zealanders are some of the best people in the world,” said Brathwaite. “Fortunate to have shared a dressing room or play against and socialise with them in franchise tournaments. Good friends with a few of them. Good sportsmanship on their behalf. I appreciated the mutual respect the opposition had.”

His captain Jason Holder said it would be wrong to criticise Brathwaite’s decision to go for a big shot. “We wouldn’t have gone down to the penultimate if it wasn’t for Carlos as well. He’s been playing excellently well up to that point. It’s just one of those things,” Holder said.

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