MANCHESTER, England – Rookie batsman Shimron Hetmyer has revealed he was nearly brought to tears following West Indies’ heart-breaking defeat to New Zealand on Saturday, but has urged his teammates to lift themselves and make the most of their last three matches of the World Cup.
West Indies went down by five runs with an over to spare at Old Trafford, in pursuit of 292 for victory. They were losing at 164 for seven in the 27th over before Carlos Brathwaite struck 101 – his maiden international hundred – to put West Indies on the brink of an amazing victory.
However, with six runs needed from seven balls, Brathwaite holed out to long on off the final ball of the 49th over from seamer Jimmy Neesham, to crush the Windies hopes of a vital win.
“Losing a game like this, the emotions run very high so it’s about keeping our heads up,” said Hetmyer.
“I was getting there where crying was concerned. I almost cried actually. It was a heartbreaking feeling for me after Carlos’ amazing knock.”
Hetmyer struck an entertaining 54 from 45 balls, featuring in a crucial 122-run, third wicket stand with Chris Gayle (87), as they pulled West Indies around from 20 for two in the seventh over.
For the 23-year-old left-hander it was his second straight half-century following his score of exactly 50 against Bangladesh last week.
His dismissal in the 23rd over, however, triggered the slide that saw West Indies lost five wickets for 22 runs.
Hetmyer pointed out the Windies possessed several match-winners and it was now important for the team to show their mettle and finish the tournament strongly.
“We know that on any day with our players, as we call them X-factors in our dressing room, anything could happen for us,” he explained.
“We’re just a team that plays well when the energy is flowing and for us it’s about coming together as one for the next couple of games and working harder to try to finish on a high.
“I would have liked to have gone to the end and taken it hope for the team but I guess it didn’t happen. There are still three games to go and hopefully I get one of those match-winning innings in.”
And not for the first time, Hetmyer praised the influence of Gayle on his performance.
“It’s always nice batting with Chris. You don’t run a lot which is a nice thing. But it’s always fun batting with Chris,” he said.
“He’s someone who pushes you to do your best and he helps you in different situations, telling you how different bowlers will bowl to you in a different situation. He always gives you a positive energy so it’s always nice batting with him.”
West Indies face unbeaten India here at Old Trafford in their next match on Thursday.