Sarwan ready for fighting Irish

Mohali, India, CMC – With a quarter-final berth in sight, resurgent West Indies will be anxious to quell any resistance from giant-killers Ireland when they clash in their Group B, World Cup clash here Friday.

The Caribbean side started their campaign with a seven-wicket loss to South Africa but since then has hammered out impressive wins – a 215-crushing of the Netherlands and a comprehensive nine-wicket victory over Bangladesh.

Ireland, however, may prove tricky opponents especially after they chased down 327 to beat England to record their only win of the tournament in Bangalore a week ago.

Experienced middle order batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan said Wednesday, however, the Windies would be taking precious little chances with the Irish who had already proven their mettle.

“We’ve played against them quite a lot and we had them in the Caribbean not too long ago so I think we know what they are capable of. They’ve been improving vastly and I think it shows you can’t take anyone for granted in this World Cup,” Sarwan told reporters.

“They showed their skill against England. Of course we’re not going to take anything for granted. We’re going to go out there and try to play to the best of your ability and execute the best way we can.”

He was speaking after Wednesday’s training session after the Windies hosted the special session for people living with HIV.
Ireland got the fastest World Cup fastest century from Kevin O’Brien as they beat England by three wickets with five balls to spare, to send shockwaves through the World Cup.

It was the not the first time Ireland had upset a big team at a World Cup after they beat Pakistan at the last showpiece in the Caribbean four years ago.

Sarwan said despite the Irish capabilities, the Windies had no reason to fear them as they were confident they could execute efficiently.

“I thought 300 was quite a lot of runs but I thought O’Brien played really well and at the end of the day, Ireland deserved to win the game,” the veteran of 162 One-Day Internationals said.

“I don’t think it’s a matter of fear, I think it’s a matter of trying to execute our plan and I think if we execute our plan the best way we can, we stand a chance of beating any team. Like I said, the way they played against England we can’t take them for granted.

“They’ve got the depth in their batting and bowling, they’ve had a squad which had been together for the longest while so they’ve done pretty well in trying to do the basics right. That is something we have to guard against and hopefully we can do that.”

West Indies have had little problems dealing with the Irish threat in the past. In the last World Cup, they beat them by eight wickets and then carved out a six-wicket win in a one-off ODI in Jamaica last year, when Sarwan hit an even unbeaten century.

Ireland coach Phil Simmons, the former Trinidad & Tobago and West Indies allrounder who played in three World Cups, said he was expecting no favours from the side he once represented.

“We are no longer seen as a surprise package, so none of the games will be easy. They will be a little bit cautious and they realise we play proper cricket. We are hitting right areas when we bowl and playing good shots when we bat,” he said. “So there will be no complacency from them. They will play us as if they are playing Australia, so we have to prepare for that.”