Pollard blasts team after loss to Sri Lanka

Port of Spain, July 9 (IANS/CMC) West Indies stand-in captain Kieron Pollard has blasted his team after a 39-run loss to Sri Lanka in the Celkon Mobile Cup ODI at Queen's Park Oval here on Monday.

The West Indies failed to guarantee themselves a place in the final despite an aggressive 123-run fifth-wicket partnership between Lendl Simmons (67) and Darren Bravo (70) in a match twice interrupted by rain.

"We as batsmen have to come up and take responsibility," declared Pollard.

"But having said that when you look at the way we bowled and the way we had Sri Lanka yesterday, it was very disappointing with them getting to 219."

West Indies pacers gave them the advantage as Sri Lanka were reeling on 60 for 3 after play was rained out on Sunday after 19 overs.

But the following day when the match continued veteran Kumar Sangakarra slammed an unbeaten 90 off 95 balls that turned the game in Sri Lanka's favour.

"We have to regroup if we are to be totally honest with ourselves we have not really batted well as a batting unit. Chasing scores, we have lost wickets unnecessarily," said Pollard.

"Players, including myself, making the same mistakes over and over and it's about time that we actually have a look at ourselves because we were in a position where all we had to do was come to Trinidad and win one game."

West Indies run-chase was interrupted by rain and crippled by a four wicket haul from Angelo Matthews.

They seemed to have already lost steam at 31 for four after Chris Gayle, Johnson Charles and Marlon Samuels all succumbed to short deliveries early in their innings.

"We gave away our wickets at significant point in time so we can't blame anybody but ourselves," said Pollard who was dismissed for a four-ball duck.

"We can't really sit down here and blame any particular individual. We play as a team, we win as a team, we lose as a team . It was a total disappointment in all areas of our cricket."

The defeat ruined West Indies' hopes of an automatic qualification for Thursday's final as they must now await the outcome of the sixth match, between India and Sri Lanka, to determine the finalists.

With both West Indies and Sri Lanka on nine points, India will have to win their next match on Tuesday by either a bonus point or a good margin to deny West Indies a place in the final.

--IANS/CMC

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