PREVIEW: WI a win away from Super Eights

Colombo, Sri Lanka - West Indies face a knock-out contest when they meet Ireland in the second Group B match of the ICC World T20 on Monday night at the R. Premadasa Stadium. First ball is 7:30 pm (10 am Eastern Caribbean Time/9 am Jamaica Time).

A win will see the Windies advance to the Super Eights but defeat would see them eliminated at the preliminary stage. The exploits of Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels and others against Australia, proved that the West Indies has enough fireworks to light up the tournament.

The batting is in good shape but the anxiety would be about the manner in which the bowlers and a few fielders wilted much before the rains hastened the climax as Australia beat the Windies on last Saturday night. These glitches need to be ironed out fast though Ireland should pose little threat.

The West Indies captain Darren Sammy remained optimistic about his team’s chances and said: “I saw Watson bowl short stuff and get wickets (against Ireland). Last time we played them we bowled them out for 60-odd. We believe we could beat them and qualify to the Super Eights but we are not going to take the Irish for granted.”

Ireland, besides the pressure of choking the West Indies, had to contend with its sick-bed as Paul Stirling, George Dockrell and Alex Cusack are indisposed but manager Roy Torrens felt that the trio should recover in time.

“A few lads have gone down with their stomachs and the like but obviously it (the rest) is just a bit of a precaution. Australia won the game last night so it is a straight shootout but we still got to turn up and do the job,” said William Porterfield, the Irish captain.

Chris Gayle as usual loomed large over the pre-match press-conference and Ireland’s Niall O’Brien sought refuge in philosophy.

“Gayle is obviously a fine player but he is human and he can make mistakes. We just need to make sure we take our chance whenever it comes,” O’Brien said.

In its clash against Australia, Porterfield tried to hook the match’s first ball and perished but that innate aggression, according to the Irish camp, will continue.

“Being the fighter he (Porterfield) is, he will be hoping for a bouncer first ball and he will probably put it in the stands for six,” said O’Brien.

The bravado needs to be backed by appropriate action on the field if Ireland dream about registering an upset.

West Indies:
Darren Sammy (captain), Dwayne Bravo (vice-captain), Samuel Badree, Darren Bravo, Johnson Charles, Fidel Edwards, Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin, Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith
Ireland: W. Porterfield (captain), A. Cusack, G. Dockrell, T.Johnston, N. Jones, E. Joyce, T. Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Niall O’Brien, B. Rankin, M. Sorensen, P. Stirling, S. Thompson, A. White and G. Wilson.
Umpires: Kumar Dharmasena and Asad Rauf; Third umpire: Simon Taufel; Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle.
Match starts: 7.30 p.m. (10 am Eastern Caribbean Time/9 am Jamaica Time)

Mon, 09/24/2012 - 00:02