Shimron Hetmyer insists his fledgling partnership with Nicholas Pooran could bear fruit for years to come after the West Indies duo dug deep against an England onslaught.
The pair put on 89 for the fourth wicket in the West Indies’ eight-wicket defeat at the Hampshire Bowl, batting maturely and patiently while under the cosh.
Under grey skies, England made early in-roads – including the prized wicket of Chris Gayle, who retires from ODI cricket at the conclusion of this tournament, for a fun-filled 36.
But Hetmyer, 22, has four ODI centuries already and guided the West Indies through a difficult 16 overs alongside Pooran - with the pair coming together at 55-3.
He undid all his hard work by playing a loose shot to Joe Root on 39, while Pooran went on to make 63 in the Windies’ overall 212.
But the signs were still encouraging and Hetmyer believes the pair can score plenty together again.
“Batting with Nicholas is very comfortable for me because we played in the under-19s together and then in the CPL [Caribbean Premier League] we played together too, so I have got to know him a little better at the crease,” he said.
“I think I was trying to hit the ball at one stage and he just came up to me and said let’s just try to time it, not muscle it and from there it came out a bit better.
“For me, my role does not change. I have to go out and whatever role I need to play, it is there for me. I will try to execute as much as possible.
“Today did not come off like I would have liked or the team would have liked but we had some positives, we had a partnership and went from strength to strength in the middle overs,
“We did come out on the wrong end of today’s game but I just tried to play my role and pick up the slack if we had a good start and build a partnership.”
Joe Root made a classy 100 not out – his 16th ODI century – to become the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019’s leading run-scorer, as England eased to their target.
The West Indies have now lost two of their four matches, while Monday’s game with South Africa was washed-out, leaving their win against Pakistan as their sole success so far.
The semi-finals are not yet out of reach but Monday’s clash with Bangladesh in Taunton is pivotal to their chances and Hetmyer insists they will deliver.
“I am very confident. It happens in these types of competitions, you go down and it is all about how you pick yourself up for the next game,” he said.
“All the guys are in good spirits and we are looking ahead and looking forward to the next game.”
© ICC Business Corporation FZ LLC 2019