Rampaul: Big day for one and all!
Colombo, Sri Lanka - After a career-best bowling performance in Twenty20 cricket in Friday night’s semi-final against Australia, Ravi Rampaul is eyeing more success when he takes the ball against Sri Lanka in Sunday’s grand final.
The seamer took 3-16 - two wickets in his first over - as West Indies outplayed the Aussies to advance to the final of the ICC World T20 tournament, which will be contested at the 35,000-seater R Premdasa Stadium.
Rampaul has been the Windies’ leading wicket-taker in the tournament with eight wickets. As he put in some final preparations on Saturday afternoon, he expressed confidence that the Windies could topple the home side and claim the big prize.
“It’s the first final I’m into so it’s up there among the biggest matches I have played in my career. I would have to say this is the biggest. It probably will be a nerve-wracking one, but I’ve got to believe in myself and believe in my ability,” he said, while speaking outside the nets at the R Premadasa Stadium.
“We came here to win the tournament and we are just one game away. All the guys are confident, we’re sticking together, we’re moving as one and the camaraderie and gelling of the team is really good. We have a good chance.”
Rampaul usually bowls the new ball, but he was used in a different role on Friday night when he came on after the powerplay. He played a major part as the West Indies bowled out Australia for 131 to win by a massive 74 runs.
“I’m very happy with the performance. I didn’t have the best start to the T20 tournament and I’m feeling confident now,” said the 27-year-old, who first represented the West Indies as a teenager back in 2003.
“The opening bowlers (spinners Samuel Badree and Marlon Samuels) set up the win very up well. I was put out of my normal duty of opening the bowling with the new ball, and I came on in the seventh or eighth over and tried to pick up where they left off by applying pressure and getting early wickets.”
Rampaul added: “I think I’ll have a big role, using the new ball and trying to get into Sri Lanka’s middle order as quickly as possible and trying to slow down their scoring at the top,” he pointed out.
“Their top order is scoring most of the runs for them. In the powerplay, they’ve been consistently scoring over 40 … so hopefully the confidence and the form will continue for the final.”