Skipper Holder not pressing panic button
HARARE, Zimbabwe, Mar 15, (CMC):
Captain Jason Holder warned against panic yesterday after another surprise defeat to Afghanistan left West Indies facing a precarious path to qualification for next year's World Cup in England.
West Indies carried four points from their unbeaten campaign in the preliminaries into the all-important Super Sixes second stage, but crashed to a three-wicket loss in their opening match, to slip to second in the table.
Scotland top the standings with five points after crushing United Arab Emirates by 73 runs, one point clear of West Indies who will now face a must-win encounter on Monday against hosts Zimbabwe, a point behind in third.
"We're going to [focus] first on the first game against Zimbabwe. That's obviously a must-win game for us," Holder told reporters following the three-wicket defeat at Harare Sports Club.
"We've got to put our foot down now and try and qualify for the finals and once we do that, we have obviously qualified for the 2019 World Cup."
West Indies produced easily their worst performance of the World Cup qualifiers, struggling to 197 for eight off their 50 overs, after opting to bat first.
In reply, Afghanistan recovered from 17 for two courtesy of a composed 68 from Rahmat Shah, to reach their target with 14 balls remaining.
"It's cricket. We had a few scores over 300, we had a pretty good chase as well and I guess it's one of our weaker batting performances for the entire tournament so far.
"I wouldn't start to panic, I think it's a situation for us just to regroup. We've got a few days off and I expect really good things against Zimbabwe."