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July 20, 2013
Jason Holder, the West Indies fast bowler, has few batting credentials to brag about, but was confident he could hit the 15 runs needed off the final over to win the third ODI against Pakistan. The No. 11 Holder managed to crack 14 to miraculously tie a game which West Indies seemed destined to lose, when they needed 39 off the final three overs with only two wickets remaining.
Holder powered a four over cover and a six over extra cover off Wahab Riaz in the final over before scampering two off the last delivery to level the scores. "I know my hitting area and I knew exactly the area I was targeting. I kept looking at the field and I knew the bowler would offer width on the off-stump," Holder said. "With my reach I knew I could make good contact and I backed myself to win the game. Coming close to the end I was focused on getting the runs."
Kemar Roach, who was involved in a similarly tense finish against India three weeks ago, was on the non-striker's end in the final over. Though the more experienced Roach faced only one ball in the final over, Holder said Roach's role was crucial."I have to give a lot of credit to Kemar," Holder said. "He had a lot of faith in me and he told me 'you can do it!'... we both believed and in the end it was quite good to get the runs and at least come away with a tie."
Before Holder's heroics in the final over, Lendl Simmons had shepherded the chase with his 75, but was dismissed in the 46th over with West Indies still some way away from victory. "I'm a bit disappointed that I was not able to carry on and win it for the team," Simmons said. "I was playing really well, but got out at a crucial stage in the run chase."
Sunil Narine then gave West Indies an outside chance by lashing 14 off five deliveries off Saeed Ajmal in the 48th over. Ajmal had proven miserly before the over, with figures of 9-1-21-2, but the boundaries from Narine kept West Indies in the game.
"Credit to Sunil and Jason for the way they played in a pressure situation," Simmons said. "They are two of the younger members of the team and they really held their nerve ... their batting was superb. At one stage it looked like we could not reach the target but they played the big shots, under pressure, and pulled off a great tie in the end."
The crowd at Beausejour Stadium was delighted with the result, but Pakistan coach Dav Whatmore could be seen fuming in the Pakistan dressing room. Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq was also unhappy at letting the match slip after having been on top for much of the game. "It's really disappointing, we were in a really good position but the way Holder played, he took the game away from us," Misbah said. "We bowled too many full deliveries to the tailender ... but hats off to them, they played really well."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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Plays of the day from the 4th ODI between England and India at Edgbaston