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'We will look after Nicholas' - Holder vows to protect star batsman
West Indies News

'We will look after Nicholas' - Holder vows to protect star batsman

Jason Holder promised the West Indies team management will carefully "look after" Nicholas Pooran in the future after the young batsman's valiant effort almost led his team to an unlikely victory over Sri Lanka in the World Cup on Monday.

Avishka Fernando's maiden hundred drove Sri Lanka's charge as they posted a towering total of 338 for six at Chester-le-Street.

A timid batting performance from the West Indies top order left them reeling at 84 for four before Pooran rejuvenated his side's chase and nearly got them over the line as he was ably supported by half-centurion Fabian Allen.

Sri Lanka's 23-win, however, is inconsequential to the grander scheme of things as both teams had been knocked out of the tournament even before the game started.

Meanwhile, this marks the West Indies' sixth defeat of the World Cup which began on a positive note with a dominating win over Pakistan.

Skipper Holder still took comfort from Pooran's sublime knock.

"Nicholas played an outstanding innings, he knocked it around as easily as he possibly could," said Holder as he reflected on Pooran's 118 off 103 balls, including 11 fours and four sixes.

"What he has produced is what we expect him to produce, we want him to get better and improve," the all-rounder added.

"We selected him for a reason and gave him full backing to go and play the game he wants to play.

"Yes he will make mistakes as a young player but it is important for development to take place.

"We will look after Nicholas the best we possibly can, I expect big things.

"He has got the talent, ability to change gears, he can improvise, has every shot in the locker and it is just a matter of him putting it together more often."

'Disappointing to come close to winning and failing'

The West Indies' long and painful World Cup journey has seen them often get themselves in a winning position before squandering their chances at the crunch moments of the match, as was experienced during the narrow losses against Australia and New Zealand.

"It is disappointing to come so close on a number of stages and not get that win," said Holder.

All is not lost for the Caribbean side as they would be keen on ending their tournament on a high by recovering lost pride during the clash against bottom-ranked Afghanistan on Thursday.

"We have shown some fight this entire campaign," said Holder.

"I'm proud of certain individuals who definitely put their hands up and put their hearts on the line.