Sports

Hetmyer says Pooran a calming influence during promising partnership

Sanjay Myers
Sport Reporter
@ ICC Cricket World Cup
In England & Wales

Sunday, June 16, 2019

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SOUTHAMPTON, England — West Indies batsman Shimron Hetmyer says former youth cricket teammate Nicholas Pooran was a calming influence during their partnership which gave West Indies brief hope in the loss to England on Friday.

The two young left-handers added an attacking 90 runs for the fourth wicket before Hetmyer's dismissal signaled a collapse that saw the Caribbean team slump from 144-3 to 212 all out in the Cricket World Cup game at Hampshire Bowl.

England made light work of the chase, reaching 213-2 with over 16 overs to spare, as the classy Joe Root thrashed an unbeaten century.

“Batting with Nicholas, I'm very comfortable because we actually played Under-19 cricket together. I think I was trying to hit the ball too hard at one time and he just came down to me and said 'just try to time it instead of muscle it' and after that it just came a little bit better to me,” the 22-year-old Hetmyer told reporters during a mixed zone session after the game.

“Today it didn't come off as great as the team would have liked but there were some positives, and yes, there was that partnership between myself and Pooran, so we are trying to work from strength to strength in the middle order,” the swashbuckling Guyanese batsman added.

The dashing left-hander Pooran, who top-scored with 63, said the coin toss was pivotal after England won it and sent West Indies to bat first in cool and gloomy conditions that favoured the home team's revered fast-bowling attack.

By the time England batted, the clouds had lifted, giving way to bright sunshine and as a result less assistance to a West Indies bowling unit that was noticeably off colour on the day.

“It was a little bit overcast and we had to adapt. Losing early wickets was a setback, so we needed a partnership and [Hetmyer] was there. We tried to go as deep as possible, but you know cricket, it doesn't always happen the way you want it.

“It wasn't the best of wickets, to be honest, at the start. Due to the rain for the last couple of days the covers were on [so] it was a little two-paced. You could see around 12 o' clock when the sun came out it became easier. We as batsmen made some mistakes and we paid for it,” Pooran, 23, explained.

He said West Indies have to limit the basic errors they commit in different areas of the game.

“It's just the simple mistakes… we've got to stick to our game plan. We lost a couple wickets cheaply; we didn't give our hands away, but there were soft dismissals.

“Those periods where we started to dominate if we could just dominate for longer periods that would've made the difference. I don't think we bowled our best… but saying that 213 is tough to defend, so we had to keep looking for wickets every over,” said the Trinidadian.

England captain Eoin Morgan, who did not bat after suffering back spasms, praised Root for notching his second hundred of the tournament.

“He's scored two hundreds, he's such an important player for us. He is the glue that holds everything together. Probably a side of his batting that's got better over the last two or three years that people haven't seen a lot of is the expansive game. He never seems to go at less than a run a ball… and it's exceptional to watch, to see him in this form,” said Morgan during a post-game press conference.

While Root was exceptional with the bat, he also impacted the game with his part-time spin, grabbing the crucial wickets of Hetmyer and West Indies captain Jason Holder.

“I got the opportunity today and it was nice to pick up a few wickets. I probably burgled them more than out skilled them. I'm not the most skilful off-spinner so I try to be as unpredictable as possible, and just sort of get into a little game with each batter and work out roughly what I think they are going to do. I've been working hard on trying to work on variation to make it difficult for someone to stand there and smash me out the park,” Root told reporters.

England are second place in the 10-team table with six points, while West Indies, who are slated to face Bangladesh at County Ground in Taunton tomorrow, are sixth with three points.

The top four teams at the end of the preliminary phase qualify for the semi-finals.


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