Windies look to rebound in 2nd match

Jamaica Gleaner article.

Kingston, Jamaica - Stung by their first-ever loss to Ireland in an official fixture, the West Indies will today go in search of a series-levelling win against the visitors when both teams meet in the second game of their two-match Twenty20 (T20) International series at Sabina Park.

Set for another 2 p.m. start the encounter is likely to see the West Indies keeping the same line-up which was plunged to a six-wicket defeat to the world's ninth ranked T20 International team.

Defending champions of the biannual ICC World T20, the West Indies, who are now on a five-match losing streak, dating back to July last year when Pakistan toured the Caribbean, are currently ranked sixth in T20s based on the latest ICC rankings.

West Indies's batting, which could only muster 116 for eight wickets in the opening clash to which the Irish replied with 117 for four, is again expected to be centred around the match-rusty Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Smith and Lendl Simmons. Gayle and Samuels are just back from injury and will need time in the middle to get back to their best.

The top bowlers are also likely to be given a second chance as they were left with a lot do when the home batsmen crumbled for under 120.

Mystery spinner Sunil Narine was, as usual, very good taking one for 16 in his four overs while Samuel Badree impressed with two for 18.

"The opening game loss was somewhat of a wake-up call for us in as much as that we cannot play teams by name, particularly in the shortest version of the game," said Sammy following the team's training session yesterday.

Part of a journey

He added: "However, this series is a part of a journey that we are on leading up to the defence of our World T20 tile, and as such we consider it a hurdle that we did not jump well.

"It is, therefore, our intention to correct this come tomorrow and in order for us to do so we will need to put in an improved and clinical performance."

Meanwhile, Ireland, who, in winning the opener, condemned West Indies to their fourth lowest total in the format while batting first, are also expected to turn out a similar starting eleven.

Ed Joyce, the former England International, who led their batting charge with a sensible knock of 40 not out, is again likely to spearhead their batting charge.

The 35-year-old has very good Twenty20 average of 37.75 from 14 matches, including a top score of 78 not out, at a strike rate of 92.63.

He is expected to get good support from Andrew Poynter and Gary Wilson, who looked comfortable before being dismissed for 32 and a run-a-ball 18, respectively, as well as opener and captain, William Porterfield, and their poster batsman, Kevin O'Brien.

Their bowling, meanwhile, should be shouldered by fast bowler Alex Crusack, who in dislodging Gayle and Simmons finished with innings-best figures of two for 17 off four overs.

"It felt good to come away victors in the opening game, but the series is not over as yet. It will require for us to put in another focused and disciplined batting and bowling display, which we intend to work towards," said Ireland coach, Phil Simmons.

First Published In The Jamaica Gleaner.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 01:48