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Disappointed to come so close on a number of stages and not win: Holder after defeat to Sri Lanka

It turned out to be a case of so near, yet so far, as despite a brilliant hundred from the 23-year-old Nicholas Pooran, West Indies couldn't overcome Sri Lanka in a tightly-contested match at the Riverside stadium.

The match between the two sides was deemed a dead rubber but had turned into an afternoon of high-pitched high drama. Sri Lanka posted an imposing total of 338/6 with the precociously talented Avishka Fernanda scoring his first hundred at the international level.



Sri Lanka survived Nicholas Pooran's maiden century to defeat West Indies by 23 runs

West Indies seemed to be on course for the win at 282 for 6 with Fabian Allen and Pooran at the crease. However, a mix-up between the duo resulted in the run out of Fabian Allen. Pooran continued to play with a calm head and took his side to within 31 runs of the target before edging Angelo Mathews behind the stumps. His dismissal turned out to be the final nail in the coffin, with Mathews and Lasith Malinga providing the finishing touches for Sri Lanka.

"It is unfortunate at the end of the day. I felt I had to capitalize in that over but it didn't happen for me. I'm just disappointed for us today. You know we were so close to winning the game and … we just find ourselves in some situation to lose our game… I was thinking of winning the game. The focus today was just on winning the game and it's just so disappointing for me today." Pooran said.

This defeat meant that West Indies have now lost seven matches in a row after starting the tournament by defeating Pakistan by 7 wickets.

"It seems to be the case in this World Cup, we have had a few close games but are just unable to get over the line, It is disappointing to come so close on a number of stages and not get that win. We can look back and pinpoint a number of areas, we didn't field particularly well, we probably gave up 30-40 runs. But when we were batting I thought we were always in the game with a shout. But we lost a lot of wickets at crucial stages," Jason Holder said after the 23-run loss.

But the West Indies skipper took some comfort from the 23-year-old Pooran's century.

"Nicholas played an outstanding inning, he knocked it around as easily as he possibly could. What he has produced is what we expect him to produce, we want him to get better and improve," the all-rounder said.

"We selected him for a reason and gave him full backing to go and play the game he wants to play. We will look after Nicholas the best we possibly can, I expect big things."

For West Indies, it was another case of what might have been after they squandered chances to defending champions Australia and New Zealand.

"It is disappointed to come so close on a number of stages and not get that win, we have shown some fight this entire campaign. I'm proud of certain individuals who definitely put their hands up and put their hearts on the line," said Holder.