Gayle: We are confident

LONDON, England -- Friday’s semi-final against Sri Lanka will be a special moment for West Indies captain Chris Gayle and his team. Speaking ahead of the showdown in the ICC’s Twenty20 World Championship at The Oval, Gayle said he was honoured to lead the team as they look forward to reaching the final. First ball on Friday is 530 pm (1230 pm Eastern Caribbean Time/1130 pm Jamaica Time).

“We are confident. We are honoured to be here in the semi-finals and we are not under too much pressure because we are not listed as the favourites. I have told the guys to go out and enjoy their cricket and give their all for West Indies cricket,” Gayle said.

“We have fought back well on this tour, after the Test and One-Day series against England, so we feel really confident. It will be a good game, both teams are going looking forward to reaching the final.”

Gayle added that he expects an overall team performance and is backing everyone to make a contribution is called upon.

“We will just try and stick to our basics and try and restrict them and let them take more chances … if we can squeeze them out with a lot of dot balls and create a bit of pressure … maybe a magnificent run out can actually change a game and make a difference from our team’s point of view,” Gayle said.

“It is very important to build partnerships. Any start for any team is very important. We got that in the game against Australia but from there on we haven’t gotten that sort of start so that’s an area we have to try and buckle up in and get it good start so that whosoever comes in can capitalize on that sort of start.”

In the opening round the West Indies lost to Sri Lanka but beat Australia which helped them to advance to the Super Eights. In Group E of the Super Eights the West Indies had victories over England and India to finish second behind South Africa.

In the first semi-final South Africa beat Pakistan by seven runs at Trent Bridge on Thursday. The final will be on Sunday at Lord’s.