WI in Super Eights
COLOMBO – It rained yet again on the West Indies parade, but this time the elements helped them march into the Super Eights of the ICC World Twenty20 cricket tournament here at the Premadasa Stadium last night.
For the second consecutive time in the tournament, the West Indies were unable to have a completed match, but their superior net run rate over Ireland earned them the fixture against England on Thursday in Kandy.
The West Indies net run rate was -1.855 in relation to Ireland’s -2.092 and they finished in seventh place in the quarter-finals.
Captain Darren Sammy was mindful of the fact that Australia skilfully used the Duckworth-Lewis method against them on batting second in the last match, so on this occasion, he chose to field first on winning the toss.
The regional side reaped success with the very first ball when Fidel Edwards bowled captain William Porterfield for a duck and that lifted the West Indies’ confidence.
Every member of the Irish side made it into double figures after the skipper’s dismissal, but none of them capitalized on their starts.?When the match was reduced to 19 overs per side because of an early rain interruption, Ireland could only gather 129 for six.
Chris Gayle hasn’t been bowling for any of the several teams he has represented in the last 18 months, but his improving shoulder encouraged him to trundle his off breaks which he clearly enjoyed by snaring two wickets – each celebrated with a new dance he has created.
Added to Gayle’s steady stuff, Sunil Narine mesmerized the batsman in his four-over spell, while Ravi Rampaul rebounded from a poor first match to pick up a wicket.
As soon as the Irish innings ended, so too did the match, effectively, as a sharp shower ensured not another ball would be bowled, and it was abandoned.
The West Indies were forced to make two changes to the final XI.
Dwayne Bravo injured his groin on Saturday and was replaced by his younger brother Darren Bravo, while Dwayne Smith was dropped for all-rounder Andre Russell.
“It’s unfortunate we haven’t finished a match yet, but we will be ready for England,” Sammy told NATIONSPORT after the match.
“I thought even though Ireland are not as strong as Australia, we bounced back nicely in the field and we will keep improving and pray the weather holds up come later this week,” he said.
Along with the West Indies, Australia, England, India, South Africa, Sri Lanka and New Zealand are safely through to the next stage.
The final place will be determined today when Pakistan and Bangladesh clash in their Group “D” preliminary match.
Pakistan have a far superior net run rate to Bangladesh and even if they lose, are likely to clinch the final spot.