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Gayle out, Russell in as Windies bat

Mohali, India – The Windies were asked to take first strike after Ireland won the toss.

The Caribbean team suffered a major blow, losing the services of power hitter Chris Gayle who is suffering from a slight abdominal strain. Fast bowling allrounder Andre Russell has come into the side for his first One-Day International, while Shiv Chanderpaul has moved up the order to partner Devon Smith.

West Indies are third in the Group B standings on four points from three matches while Ireland are fifth on two points from three matches.

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Presence of Sir Garry gives Windies a lift

Mohali, India – West Indies captain Darren Sammy walked into the main hall at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium on Thursday and something immediately caught his attention.

There, in the room, was a larger-than-life photograph of West Indies legend Sir Garfield Sobers. Sammy paused, had a long look before taking his seat to speak to journalists.

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Dilshan stars with bat and ball in Kandy

Kandy, Sri Lanka – Brilliant centuries from Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga helped Sri Lanka to a comprehensive 139-run win over Zimbabwe at the new Pallekele Cricket Ground on Thursday.

Dilshan hit 144 at better than a run-a-ball while the left-handed Tharanga (133) added 282 for the first wicket – the highest partnership for the opening wicket in the history of the ICC Cricket World Cup, and the fourth highest ODI partnership of all time.

Brotherhood in Windies camp

Mohali, India – The West Indies team has formed a strong brotherhood as they continue their campaign at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.

Speaking to the media on Thursday, skipper Darren Sammy outlined that all members of the team were supporting each other and working extremely well together as they prepare to face Ireland in their fourth Group B match at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium on Friday.

It will be the first day match for the Windies. First ball is 9.30 am (12 midnight Eastern Caribbean Time/11 pm Thursday Jamaica Time).

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Johnston a doubt for Friday's clash

Mohali, India – Ireland could be without inspirational player Trent Johnston for Friday’s ICC Cricket World Cup Group B match against West Indies.

The right-arm new ball bowler and former captain picked up a knee injury against India on Sunday in Bangalore and could bowl only five overs during which he picked up two wickets for just 16 runs. If he is unavailable it would be a major blow to the Irish.

The 36-year-old Johnston has been his side’s most successful bowler for Ireland with six wickets from three matches.

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