West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo and fast bowler Tino Best have said the outcome of the fifth ODI in St Lucia, and of the series, may have been different if some 'key' umpiring decisions had gone in favour of the hosts.
"The matches could have gone either way. Even today a few key decisions went against us," Dwayne Bravo said, after Pakistan beat the West Indies by four wickets in the final ODI. "We can't fault the effort of the players. The series could have gone our way if some key decisions had gone our way."
Best, too, shared a similar opinion in a post-match interview with WICB Media, where he said that the third umpire's decision in favour of Misbah-ul-Haq could have changed the game. In the 43rd over, West Indies appealed after Misbah appeared to have gloved a Best bouncer going down the leg side. Misbah was on 49 at the time and Pakistan would have needed 53 off 46 if he had been given out. West Indies referred the decision after the on-field umpire turned down the appeal, a decision backed by the third umpire who had to rely on video and sound replays. Earlier in the match, Darren Bravo was given out after a similar appeal.
"We had a plan for Misbah-ul-Haq. Unfortunately, the decision didn't go our way, otherwise it would have changed the game," Best said.
For Pakistan, the victory was their third successive bilateral series win against West Indies in the Caribbean. Misbah-ul-Haq, who scored his fourth fifty in five matches to set up the 3-1 triumph, praised his bowlers for responding to the challenge of bowling first under pressure.
"A win is always good, especially after the losses in [the] South Africa series and Champions Trophy," Misbah said. "I knew this pitch was really good to bat on, and if we kept batting till the end, nothing was impossible. The bowling has obviously been our strength. Everybody bowled really well, which was the key in this win. Always tough to bowl first, especially in pressure games like this, but everybody was really positive that we were going to chase well."
Bravo praised his team for their performance in a closely fought series, while admitting that he was still adapting to the role of a leader. "If you bowl well, 242 was going to be a challenging total," Bravo said. "I liked how we believed right until the end. Those key decisions at crucial times cost us. A learning process to me, a new role for me. With the talent we have, I enjoy leading the team. We can't turn things around overnight, but with the talent we have we can become a very dangerous team."
Best, who finished with figures of 3 for 48 was happy with the manner in which he dismissed the Pakistan batsmen. "With [Ahmed] Shehzad, I just tried to hit the deck. He plays the hook and pull shots well. But I backed myself. Bravo took a brilliant catch and that gave me a lot of confidence and impetus to run in even harder. Haris Sohail was always going to be beaten for pace, so that was a good nick as well and Umar Akmal at the end, I think I bowled one bad ball which he hit for six, which swung things their way, but I came back and got his wicket. I feel good about those wickets because they are very good players."