West Indies captain Kieron Pollard was left frustrated that his team made things harder than he believes they should have done in the second ODI in Barbados even though they came away with a four-wicket win which sets up a series decider on Monday.
Australia slid to 45 for 6 after batting first - a decision made two days ago before the 48-hour suspension of the match due to the Covid-19 scare - with Akeal Hosein taking out the middle order in the blink of an eye. However, they were able to clamber to 187 and when West Indies were 72 for 5, Australia were probably favourites to win before Nicholas Pooran and Jason Holder turned the chase around.
"Pleasing to win, obviously, but to say I'm overall pleased with our performance throughout the entire game, I think we have some work to do," Pollard said at the presentation. "Australia were [45 for 6] and getting to 190, we didn't put our foot on the X like we should have done and gave them opportunities to come into the game. Then our batters didn't make it easy, it seems like we don't like to do things the easy way. Thought 120 should have been the total."
In their previous ODI series against Sri Lanka in March, West Indies stitched together three solid run chases with a century from the top order on each occasion. This series has been much less secure with them falling to 27 for 6 in their opening defeat followed by their stumble on Saturday.
Conditions have been a factor with the two-paced pitch at Kensington Oval offering assistance for quicks and spinners, but Pollard also acknowledged the strength of Australia's attack despite the absences. Mitchell Starc has been outstanding in both matches with eight wickets, Adam Zampa bowled well in this game and Josh Hazlewood was excellent in the first outing before eventually being rested for the latest contest after agreement with West Indies following the two-day delay.
"Difference in opposition, Australia are Australia," Pollard said when asked why the top order hasn't fired. "They have world-class bowlers, as much as guys are missing, I think there's only one guy from the attack who is actually missing, Pat Cummins, so I think it's a world-class line-up and the test is a bit different.
"We haven't been able to combat it how we want to, but having said that, this time around what was good was the fight. Nicholas Pooran with that half-century and Jason Holder, we know what we can do with the bat lower order, and Pooran has been looking like his own self. It was a bit scratchy tonight, but that's what you need in a game like this, someone to scrap, and they both scrapped well for us."
Australia had their chance to break the Pooran-Holder stand with still 65 required when Pooran was dropped at mid-off by Moises Henriques which would have given Starc more opportunity to attack the lower order in his remaining overs, instead of with just 23 needed when Holder was lbw.
"It doesn't help when you're five down for not a lot. Wade and the bowlers did a great job to get us to a total," Alex Carey, Australia's stand-in captain, said. "We were back in the game, we took some early wickets again and the belief was definitely there. We created opportunities and we were in the game in that back end, unfortunately, we couldn't quite close it out and it proves we were 20 or 30 short at least."