By Neto Baptiste
Sir Vivian Richards, former West Indies captain, has applauded all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite for his efforts in the match against New Zealand which the Caribbean side lost by five runs.
The legendary batsman who scored 8,540 in 121 Tests and another 6,721 in 187 ODI matches, said some pundits and critics were being too hard on Brathwaite after he was caught on the boundary with Windies needing just six from eight deliveries to win the crucial contest.
“I hear people knocking him and saying he should have done this and he should have done that but at the end of the day, we were sort of dead and buried and he brought us back into contention in helping to get us into that position. So at the end of the day, it’s just a margin of error and you can’t knock him for that because he would have done well enough to create that particular excitement and to create what actually took place in the end,” he said.
Chasing 292 for victory, West Indies had been reduced to 164-7 and needed 33 runs from the final 18 balls to seal an unlikely success.
Brathwaite struck three huge sixes off Matt Henry in the 48th over and top edged a four, taking the required target to eight from 12 balls.
He reached a sensational century with six runs needed but, as he went for one last boundary, he was caught by Trent Boult to end West Indies’ innings in a heartbreaking finish.
Sir Viv believes there are bigger issues plaguing the regional side that must be addressed following the World Cup.
“When they are all finished then they will decide exactly how it went, where we went wrong and the things that looked positive enough and the things we can look to work with in the future. When you look at the whole situation, there isn’t much you can do at this point but what I can say is, they did look, potentially, like they could get it done, especially the first match against Pakistan and that was pretty encouraging to the fans and people who love West Indies cricket,” he said.
“There were some encouraging performances and I think that going forward, you can look at things that you see are positive and the little misfits that you can look about doing some patching up at some point,” he added.
West Indies will next play India on Thursday before meeting Sri Lanka on July 1st and will round off their campaign three days later against Afghanistan on July 4th.