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Weather, Umpire or Poor Strategy to Blame in West Indies Cricket Elimination?

Caribbean cricket fans are still disappointed over the West Indies Cricket team's elimination from the 2013 Champions Trophy after they drew with South Africa (via the Duckworth-Lewis method) in their final, rain-shortened, group match.

Despite the teams finishing with the same number of points, South Africa advance on the basis of their superior run rate. On what turned out to be the last play of the match, West Indies batsman Keiron Pollard was dismissed. According to the D/L calculation, the West Indies had been ahead by three runs at that pont but the loss of the wicket dropped them into a tie. Before the next batsman, Darren Sammy, could take the strike, the umpires suspended play due to the rain.

On the Facebook page WICFA (West Indies Cricket Fans Association), Phani Marella's response was swift and viseral:

great, i am just gutted now. why don't you twist the blade more in my side for @#$%^&'* sake?!!!

Ezra Hinds felt that the coaching staff should make use of teaching aids to reach the players:

If it is not against the spirit of the game I would like to pull my pocket and invest in a 3×4 WHITE BOARD and A DRY ERASE MARKER for the WI team for use during DWL games because the players in the middle always seem lost.

Darren Moore-Sampson felt that the entire team and management should be to blame for the loss:

Not one of our bowlers was able to hold a consistent line and length (unless that consistent line and length was around the leg stump to behind the batsman). Obviously, that chosen line and length also led to the accumulation of 2s thanks to the lax fielding mentioned before.

Then, in our run chase, we suffered from what we always seem to suffer from, standanddeliveritis. This ailment certainly almost always prevents us from running more than 1 run. I saw men hitting balls into the soggy outfield and JOGGING through for 1 run more often than not.

He concluded:

At the end of the day we can all blame the umpire and I am guilty of doing that myself however; WI are the real ones to blame. Until our players come to understand the REAL value of EVERY SINGLE RUN WI will always remain in this predicament.

Until we stop giving up extras, start bowling on a proper line and length consistently, begin showing urgency in the field and urgency in running between the wickets WI will stay right where we are in international cricket.

How you train is how you play. Every single ball and every single run counts.

David Springer felt it made no sense to put most of the blame on management:

Batsman running out to bat; batsman not pulling out paper when there is a massive scoreboard with information; questioning whether Pollard would have played the shot if he had known they were ahead of the scoring rate when the big scoreboard has it there displayed…….. ????? Are these really a sound basis for blaming management? Nonsense. Bravo and Pollard are both experienced players who I am sure played under D/L situations and know that losing wickets greatly affects the score to be achieved. That’s why we batted second in the first place. Bravo had just left the pavilion where I am SURE that the D/L was discussed and the giant scoreboard was working throughout where you just have to read it. I am placing far more blame on our senior batsmen for this, the Gayle, Samuel, Pollard as well as Charles and for a totally poor bowling performance. The thing is they tried but let down themselves by poor batting tactics and decisions at critical moments.

Randy Wilson recalled the West Indies’ successful chase in the final of the 2004 Champions Trophy:

Everyone know bout 2004 Champion Trophy. Bradshaw and Browne. i trying ta (sic) remember if staff member came out to them. yall can correct me. both knew what have to be done no 1 Dont lose a wicket. 2nd keep looking at de scoreboard. also a point came when [it] was very dark n umpire ask them if they wanted to go off i dont think they say lets ask de staff n see what they say. Both knew the situation.

At Wired868, Earl Best blamed the management, especially the coach:

Would Samuels have perished as he did were he fully apprised of the situation? Would Pollard, on 28 off 22 balls, have taken ‘a wild swing at a delivery that wasn’t there to be hit,’ as Michael Holding described it, had he been aware that, at 190 for 5, his side was three runs ahead of the par score?

Maybe. But I doubt it.

In my view, Gibson could not leave it to chance, should not have left it to chance. He needed to ensure that both batsmen knew precisely what was required if only by reminding them that the information was available on the scoreboard.

Commenter Stephen disagreed:

The par score at the end of the current over is posted on the score board at the start of the over and always updated when a wicket falls. 2 copies of the DL printout are given to each CAPTAIN.
The captain was on the field.
Samuels’ response tells you that the team was aware of the requirement!!
It’s just one of those things… If you looking for someone to blame, you will find someone.

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