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West Indies skipper Jason Holder doubtful ahead of must-win game against South Africa

Tri-Series 2016
A pair of boxing gloves are placed to pay respect to late boxer Muhammad Ali as West Indies cricket team caption Jason Holder delivers a ball during a practice session in Basseterre, Saint Kitts, on June 10, 2016. (Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

It seems West Indies will have to play the must-win game against South Africa without their skipper Jason Holder. The tall all-rounder sustained a hamstring injury during his team’s previous encounter against Australia yesterday. The 24-year-old all-rounder, who bowled two overs for 20 runs before trudging off the field, now faces a race against time to regain full fitness ahead of the must-win final league stage encounter against South Africa on Friday (June 24).

“I’ve strained my left hamstring,” Holder said after the match. “Hopefully, I’ll be ready for the game on Friday, still not sure at the moment. I think the bowlers made a very good attempt at trying to defend the runs. It was just unfortunate we were one bowler short.

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“Fletcher came on and slipped in three tight overs. In the hindsight, he probably could have gone on for two more. Having said that we fought right down to the end with a bowler short, so credit must go to the bowling unit.”

The West Indies side, after been put into bat first by the Aussies, set a 283 runs target with the help of attractive knocks from Marlon Samuels and Denesh Ramdin. In reply, skipper Steve Smith ensured that there are no unnecessary difficulties in the cause. Mitchell Marsh and Glenn Maxwell also stepped in as Australia marched to an easy 6 wicket win and seal a spot in the final.

Coach Phil Simmons said he was proud to see his team – which is ranked at No. 8 in ODIs – competing well with a higher-ranked opposition. Even if they did not win on Tuesday, he said, they gained a lot out of the game.

“A loss is a loss but there are a lot of things we can take from it. When you’re up against Australia and you’re 30 for 3, to come back and make 280, you have to take that. Taking it to the second to last over, you have to take that, especially with our main bowler and captain missing. [And also] how well Shannon [Gabriel] bowled on his debut, to have someone in the 150s regularly, it’s great to see.

“The work that the guys have put in over the past five or six weeks has been excellent. For us to be in a competition with No. 1 and No. 3 in the world, and still be in the competition and looking to be in the final in the last game, it’s what we spoke about at the start of the tournament, that we need to make sure we are winning games against these top teams in order to be moving up the table.”

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