West Indies go short only to come up short

When pushed further on their bowling, Shakib said: “At certain times they bowled well, good areas, but they were not patient enough to bowl in good areas for a long enough.”

Now there are two ways to look at this. You can say they weren’t patient for continually going for the short ball, or you can suggest they were patient by delivering 44% of their balls back of a length. They saw Bangladesh’s weakness, and they kept going for it, even when it seemed to an outsider it was wrong. Only two times had a team bowled more balls on that length all tournament: West Indies against Australia, and England when they bowled to Bangladesh. Both occasions, short deliveries accounted for lots of wickets and averaged 24 and 22. In this game, the short ball averaged 85 for West Indies.

So based on that you’d say they bowled too many, but 41 balls of the 111 short ones delivered, Bangladesh were not in control of. That’s 36%, or one in three. Balls lobbed up all over the place, some carrying over the keeper’s head, other times fine of third man and fine leg. According to ESPNcricinfo data, short-of-a-length deliveries that batsmen are not in control of result in a dismissal every 8.35 balls, so to only get two wickets to this seems unlucky.

More than just luck, as Holder noted. “We missed a crucial chance when Shannon [Gabriel] should have gotten in and taken a chance.” That was in the 22nd over, Bangladesh were 143 for 3, the batsman was Shakib. He made 72 more runs, and Bangladesh never lost another wicket.

But if you use mammoth fast bowlers in the field, there’s also a chance that some of them will not get to catches. If you bowl a lot of short balls on a small ground, a few are going to fly to the boundary. Maybe the West Indians should have changed their attack, some will suggest huge Nurse could have helped, but as Estwick said: “If we sat here, and we played spin against Bangladesh, you know what you’d be saying to me, you should have bowled your pace, because pace is your strength. Four games ago everyone was saying how exciting and refreshing West Indies cricket looked, four games later, it’s the worst tactic in the world.”

Their tactics were not terrible; their execution could have been better. Estwick put it best: “At the end of the day we lost a cricket game to a team that played a lot better than us. Bangladesh played better than us, and we lost a cricket game.”

West Indies played reasonably well, except Bangladesh played better.