Should have, could have, would have.
Those words would probably end up in any tale West Indies 'A' could tell to explain their one-over eliminator loss to India 'A' in their second and final Twenty20 at Queen's Park Oval on Sunday night.
West Indies were in the driver's seat for most of their innings chasing 155 for victory. But Nkrumah Bonner's match-high 82 was not enough. The hosts could neither score three runs off the final over from a miserly Ashok Dinda, nor defend four runs in the tie-breaker, and India celebrated the unlikely win.
The Indians improved on their batting performance in a losing cause a day earlier, posting a challenging 154, on the back of 79 by India opener Ajinkya Rahane.
West Indies needed a good start to push their chase along, and in a cautious beginning, the opening pair of captain Kieran Powell and Bonner rotated the strike well. Once Bonner got his eye in, he began the assault, with no better shot than a straight hit off Jalaj Saxena for six.
Powell too got into his stride, the momentum firmly going West Indies way until he ran himself out with the score on 72. Both Powell and Bonner were on 34, but the Windies A skipper pushed the ball into the on-side and ran immediately, but was caught short of his crease.
However, Bonner kept up the momentum in partnerships of 29 and 30 respectively with fellow Jamaican Danza Hyatt (13), and then Jonathan Carter (zero), who went to a top edge, attempting a big heave off Saxena.
Jason Mohammed joined Bonner and the pair played sensibly to bring West Indies to the brink of victory. But Bonner was out in the last over to a steepling top edge, leaving Mohammed and Christopher Barnwell to make two runs.
The former dashed for a single to draw the teams level with three balls left, as right arm seamer Dinda bowled fractionally short and outside off-stump. All three times Barnwell failed to get bat on ball, meaning a one-over eliminator would decide the outcome.
Powell and Carter scored three successive singles in the tiebreaker before Carter was run out, attempting a second single. Bonner came in and he too was caught short of his ground off the fifth ball.
Sulieman Benn bowled the West Indies' over, and Rohit Sharma was run out first ball. But one run and two wides later, Shikhar Dhawan pulled behind square for four and the visitors were celebrating victory.
India would have felt they should have added 20 more runs to the total after a good start. Dhawan and Rahane put on 61 for the first wicket in just over ten overs.
After Garey Mathurin accounted for Dhawan, and Sharma was run out through the Mathurin/Samuel Badree combination, Manoj Tiwary came and helped Rahane steady the ship.
They put on 64 as Rahane cut loose, smashing four fours and two sixes off the Windies bowlers, and took a liking to left-arm medium pacer Krishmar Santokie in particular. The bowler finished wicketless, and went for over ten runs an over in his three.
Benn entered and dragged things back, snapping up the wickets of Tiwary (17), caught in the deep by Samuel Badree just off the ropes, and wicketkeeper, skipper Wriddhiman Saha off another catch.
India reached 154 for five with Cheteshwar Pujara (five not out) and Saxena (two not out), and the total looked just not enough while West Indies barreled close to a result to seal the T20s. Or at least should have.
The teams will now meet in three unofficial One Dayers in Grenada, with the first bowling off tomorrow.
WI 'A' vs India 'A'
INDIA A Inns
S Dhawan c Powell b Mathurin 33
A Rahane c Barnwell b Holder 79
R Sharma run out 3
M Tiwary c Badree b Benn 17
W Saha c Mathurin b Benn 2
C Pujara not out 5
J Saxena not out 2
EXTRAS: (LB2, W11) 13
TOTAL (for five wickets, 20 overs) 154
Did not bat: B Kumar, R Sharma, A Darekar, A Dinda.
Wickets at: 61, 67, 131, 144, 151.
BOWLING: Badree 4-0-26-0, Santokie 3-0-31-0, Holder 4-0-34-1, Benn 4-0-23-2, Mathurin 4-0-33-1, Barnwell 1-0-5-0.
WEST INDIES A Inns
N Bonner c Saxena b Dinda 82
K Powell run out 34
D Hyatt b Rahul Sharma 13
J Carter c Pujara b Saxena 0
J Mohammed not out 16
Christopher Barnwell not out 0
EXTRAS: (B1, LB2, W4, NB2) 9
TOTAL (for four wickets, 20 overs) 154
Did not bat: S Benn, J Holder, G Mathurin, S Badree, K Santokie.
Wickets at: 72, 101, 131, 153.
BOWLING: Dinda 4-0-23-1, Kumar 4-0-30-0, Saxena 4-0-28-0, Sharma 4-0-29-1, Darekar 3-0-28-0, Sharma 1-0-13-0.
Result: India A won via one-over eliminator after scores were tied.
Series: Two-match series tied 1-1.
Toss: West Indies.
Umpires: Vincent Bullen, Goaland Greaves.