T20 World Cup: WI captain Powell hails team's progress despite tournament exit

North Sound, Jun 24 (IANS): The West Indies’ T20 World Cup 2024 campaign came to an end with a hard-fought defeat against South Africa by three wickets on Sunday. Despite failing to qualify for the semifinals, captain Rovman Powell lauded the significant strides made by his team over the past year.

Reflecting on the journey, Powell acknowledged the disappointment of not winning the World Cup but emphasised the remarkable progress the team had achieved.

"I think when you look on a large scale, we haven't won the World Cup. We aren't in the semi-finals. [But] I think the cricket we have played in the last 12 months or so is commendable. Credit has to be given to the team. If you can take a year to move from number 9 to number 3 in the world, that's tremendous work," Powell said during the post-match presentation.

"We haven't won the World Cup, but there was a lot of improvement. There's a lot of buzz around the Caribbean again about West Indies cricket. We have done some very good things over the last 12 months. Now is where the work starts. It's for us to continue to work as a group, still be tight, and hopefully, just hopefully, we can continue to climb the rankings and make the Caribbean people proud."

The captain also expressed gratitude for the support the team received during the home World Cup. "That has been fantastic. For all the venues that we have played, for all the social media likes and stuff that people have given us, we as a team really appreciate it.

"It's good to see that some buzz is back in the Caribbean for cricket because we know how long that has died down. Now people are rallying around the West Indies as they do. Now, when we hear the anthem play, as players we feel something. I think that is heading in the right direction," said.

In the crucial match against South Africa, the West Indies faced challenges with the bat. After being put into bat, they struggled against spin and managed to post only 135 runs. However, their bowlers put up a valiant fight. Early breakthroughs had South Africa reeling at 15 for 2 when rain interrupted play, resulting in a revised target of 124 in 17 overs.

Roston Chase's key dismissals of David Miller and Tristan Stubbs gave the West Indies hope, but ultimately, Marco Jansen and Kagiso Rabada guided South Africa to a three-wicket win with five balls to spare.

Powell praised his team's fighting spirit and said, "I think credit has to be given to the boys. I think they fight to the very end. As a batting group, this is one batting performance we'll try our best to forget. I think we didn't bat well in the middle overs especially. Obviously, you see both teams bat on the wicket. It wasn't an easy wicket, especially to get started.

"The first time in this competition we have lost wickets in clusters. That always breaks the back of a batting team."

Despite the loss, Powell commended the bowling effort. "I think it was a commendable bowling effort. 135 at the halfway mark, we said we're just going to give it our all. Whatever happens, happens. Credit has to be given to the guys at the halfway mark. They believed, even though it was only 135."



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Title: T20 World Cup: WI captain Powell hails team's progress despite tournament exit

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