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Powell: 'Good to see buzz back in Caribbean for cricket, we know how long it had died down'

The West Indies captain said to move up the rankings from ninth to third in a year was "tremendous work"

David Rudder performs the anthem 'Rally Round the West Indies' before the start of the game, West Indies vs South Africa, T20 World Cup 2024, Super Eight, North Sound, June 23, 2024

David Rudder performs the anthem 'Rally Round the West Indies' before the start of the game  •  ICC via Getty Images

West Indies' T20 World Cup 2024 campaign came to an end with defeat to South Africa in Antigua on Sunday, but their captain Rovman Powell was full of praise for the progress they made as a team in the year leading up to the competition.
"I think when you look on a large scale, we haven't won the World Cup. We aren't in the semi-finals. [But] I think the cricket we have played in the last 12 months or so is commendable," Powell said in the post-match presentation ceremony. "Credit has to be given to the team. If you can take a year to move from number 9 to number 3 in the world, that's tremendous work."
"We haven't won the World Cup, but there was a lot of improvement. There's a lot of buzz around the Caribbean again about West Indies cricket. We have done some very good things over the last 12 months.
"Now is where the work starts. It's for us to continue to work as a group, still be tight, and hopefully, just hopefully, we can continue to climb the rankings and make the Caribbean people proud," Powell said.
Powell also acknowledged the support they received on and off the field during a home World Cup, and said that it is a sign of the team headed in the right direction.
"That has been fantastic. For all the venues that we have played, for all the social media likes and stuff that people have given us, we as a team really appreciate it," he said.
"It's good to see that some buzz is back in the Caribbean for cricket, because we know how long that has died down. Now people are rallying around the West Indies as they do. Now, when we hear the anthem play, as players we feel something. I think that is heading in the right direction."

Powell: 'A batting performance we will try and forget'

After being put in to bat in a virtual knockout game by South Africa, West Indies unravelled against spin in Antigua. They could only make 135, but they then had South Africa at 15 for 2 after two overs when rain set in. With the target revised to 124 in 17 overs, West Indies kept chipping away, especially with Roston Chase dismissing David Miller and the set Tristan Stubbs in consecutive overs.
But in the end, Marco Jansen and Kagiso Rabada sealed a three-wicket win for South Africa, with five balls to spare.
"I think credit has to be given to the boys. I think they fight to the very end," Powell said.
"As a batting group, this is one batting performance we'll try our best to forget. I think we didn't bat well in the middle overs especially," he said. "I think obviously you see both teams bat on the wicket. Obviously it wasn't an easy wicket, especially to get started.
"I think [in] the middle overs, we lost wickets in clusters. The first time in this competition we have lost wickets in clusters. That always breaks the back of a batting team."
"I think it was a commendable bowling effort. 130 [135] at the halfway mark, we said we're just going to give it our all," Powell said. "Whatever happens, happens. Credit has to be given to the guys at the halfway mark. They believed, even though it was only 135."