T20 WC: Pooran puts team's goal ahead of personal milestone

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | June 18, 2024 IST

Nicholas Pooran

Gros Islet (St Lucia), June 18: Having led West Indies earlier, Nicholas Pooran is aware that despite immense talents in the T20 format, the Caribbeans have not been able to lift the T20 World Cup again afar 2016.

But this time, they do have a golden opportunity to become World Champions again. Because as hosts, they are more familiar with the conditions and the crowd support as well. 

Under Rovman Powell, they are a much charged up unit and are yet to e beaten in the tournament. Against Afghanistan, Pooran scored a hurricane 98, but revealed his team's goal was more important for him than personal milestone

Nicholas Pooran was not bothered about missing out on a maiden T20I century after getting run-out following a record-breaking 98 off 53 balls in a thumping 104-run win against Afghanistan on Tuesday.

He missed out on reaching the impressive century after Azmatullah Omarzai's direct hit ended his show in the final over.

The wicketkeeper-batter's knock was decorated with eight sixes and six fours. His innings guided West Indies to 218/5 in 20 overs. In reply, they bundled out Afghanistan for 114 in 16.4 overs to remain unbeaten in Group C.

"You don’t want to be on 98 and get run-out but it was all about reaching a respectable total. I assessed the conditions early on, we had a good start in the powerplay, I had to take the responsibility in the middle overs with the Afghanistan spinners bowling," Pooran said in the post-match presentation.

"I just felt that it's my night and I could get on with it. It’s difficult to strike the ball when it’s a little slow and spinning, but when you get a good wicket like this, you got to capitalise, got to appreciate the conditions," he added.

During his knock, Pooran also surpassed legendary batter Chris Gayle in the six-hitting fest with 128 sixes in T20Is, four more than the veteran's feat. He also completed 2000 T20I runs for West Indies, becoming the first batter to do so.

The Player of the Match awardee said Sherfane Rutherford's unbeaten 68* against New Zealand inspired him to play a fearless knock.

"It’s just not today, it started 12-14 months ago we have been consistent as a team, we went to No. 3 in the rankings. In the last game, Rutherford took the opportunity and played wonderfully, he inspired us," Pooran concluded.

West Indies will take on defending champion England in their first Super Eight match at the same venue on June 20.

West Indies have won the ICC T20 World Cup twice under Darren Sammy in 2012 and 2016. Earlier, the Caribbeans had also the first two editions of the ODI World Cup in 1975 and 1979, under Clive Lloyd's captainship. 

Pooran and his teammates would understandably  be keen to win the T20 World Cup title this time, as the tournament is played at their backyard.  (With IANS support)

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