(Reuters) – West Indies batsman Nicholas Pooran was left determined to get better at his craft after failing to guide his side to victory against Sri Lanka in the Cricket World Cup on Monday despite hitting his highest international score.
The 23-year-old scored his first one-day international century but fell for 118 with Sri Lanka going on to beat the West Indies by 23 runs at Durham.
The left-handed batsman, who made his ODI debut in February, has been hailed by current stalwarts like Chris Gayle as a future star and has also been compared with former West Indies captain and batting great Brian Lara.
“I know people say a lot of things about me but if I don’t perform on the field it makes no sense,” Pooran told reporters. “I just want to get better and better each day. I have had a lot of starts in this tournament but not converted.
“I don’t know what the future holds – I’m just thankful that I got the opportunity to play and I could show the selectors that I could play.
“I don’t want to be like anyone else, I just want to be Nicholas Pooran.”
Chasing 339 for victory, West Indies lost Sunil Ambris and Shai Hope to Sri Lanka pace spearhead Lasith Malinga’s fierce spell with the new ball.
Chris Gayle and Shimron Hetmyer added 49 for the third wicket but West Indies kept losing wickets at regular intervals in their chase.
Pooran combined with Fabian Allen in an 83-run stand to get West Indies, who have managed just one win from eight matches at the ongoing World Cup, close before the latter was run out for 51 after a mix-up.
Pooran continued to find boundaries to set up a tense finale before he was caught behind off experienced all-rounder Angelo Mathews, who was bowling in an ODI for the first time since December 2017.
“Myself and Fabian were in control. The bowlers didn’t know where to bowl and we were scoring easily,” Pooran said.
“This is cricket, it’s unfortunate. I had to capitalise in that over. I could have hit the ball for four and six and it’s a different game. I’m just disappointed. We are just finding ways to lose our games.
“We have a young team and a young batting line-up. Hopefully a lot of guys like me, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope and Fabian Allen have learned from this tournament.”
(Reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)