[UAE], Oct.18 (ANI): West Indies skipper Jason Holder has blamed dropped catches and large number of no-balls as the reason behind his team's 56-run defeat against Pakistan in the opening Test of the three-match series here at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium last evening.
"It's tough to say. When you look at the game in hindsight you can say a lot of things. Obviously credit must go to Azhar Ali. I thought he played really well. We put him down; at that stage if we would have held him, we would have had a new batsman in," Holder was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
"But that's cricket. If you look at it critically, it's those one or two chances that we missed. In the second innings Babar Azam getting out of a no-ball. Things like this, if we negate them then we have less problems going forward," he added.
Fast bowler Shannon Gabriel bowled 11 no-balls in the entire match, combined with some extras, to give away 22 runs to Pakistan's massive first-inning score of 579. And the skipper admitted that Gabriel had to do some work to bring the rate of front-foot no-balls under control going forward in the second Test.
Meanwhile, Azhar Ali was dropped twice in his unbeaten 302-run first innings score, first on 17 when Leon Johnson put down a sharp catch, and on 190 by Jermaine Blackwood off Roston Chase's delivery.
"It's definitely an area we need to improve on but if you look at the scorecard, there were a few no-balls from both sides. It's something we have to pay attention to. Shannon was probably our head culprit. But again, he's that kind of bowler. He runs in and gives it his all. Having said that the amount of no-balls he bowled was unacceptable and hopefully he can correct it going forward in the next Test match," he added.
Holder, however, admitted that his side's fight back with the ball in Pakistan's second innings---Devendra Bishoo bagging eight for 49 and Darren Bravo's brilliant batting display on the fourth and fifth days---were the positives for the side.
Chasing a daunting target of 346 runs, Bravo smashed a blistering 116-run knock that helped the Caribbean side need another 83 runs to win before he was dismissed on Yasir Shah's delivery. He scored 87 runs in the first innings.
Insisting that Bravo had shown a lot of maturity in both the innings, Holder lauded the batsman for taking the match into final day despite being on the back foot on the first three days.
"It was a quality innings and I just mentioned that he batted really well in both the second and first innings. I think he showed a lot of maturity in both those innings and he spent some time and gave himself a chance to get a score. You could see the determination on his face and in his expressions and his body language was just very positive. Hopefully he can continue in this vein and we can lean on Darren Bravo in our batting," Holder said.
The two sides will now play the second Test at Abu Dhabi starting from October 21. (ANI)