Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 20th 2015 Contents A62
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, February 20, 2015
Dangerous. Unpredictable. West Indies.
Pakistan. The first two words describe
the second two teams, both of whom will
clash in a potential cliffhanger as the
tenth match of the ICC Cricket World
Cup bowls of tonight (Saturday Aus-
tralia/New Zealand) at the Hagley Oval.
Both teams are seeking their first win
after suffering moral bashing opening round
defeats against Ireland and India respec-
It was a full training session for the West
Indies yesterday afternoon and all players
looked business-like and keen, as they
chase a win that will either keep them in
line for a place in the second round, or,
see them spiralling further down and out
of the tournament.
"We are ready to turn the corner and
go ahead as far as we can in this world
cup," said left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn,
after the session.
"We have a very important and difficult
game against Pakistan and we are looking
forward to that. We got to take things into
perspective. We got to see how good the
pitches are and how small the outfields
Benn was absent because iof a strained
side on Monday when the West Indies aim
failed to defend 304 against Ireland
although the structure of the World Cup
draw means that the Caribbean side is far
from out of quarter-final contention.
A win over Pakistan would put their
campaign back on track in Group B from
which four teams will make the last eight.
"We are not hoping at the moment,
we are just putting in some hard work .We
are trying to build from strength to strength
and go as far as we can," said Benn
"Spinners have a part to play in any
cricket game regardless of how the pitch
is. You just have to be smart about what
you are doing and use your variations and
you should be ok."
The 33 year old Bajan is playing in his
second ICC Cricket World Cup.
"Once my team plays well and I do the
basic well. We are going to be fine. It s a
team effort. We are going out there to exec-
utive our plan as best we can," he said.
"We still have a day and a half to decide
what the team plan would be but in the
eventually I am playing I am good to go".
The Pakistan, whose preparations were
hampered by clashes with their Board are
also looking to bounce back after losing to
India by 76 runs.
Legendary left arm spinner Iqbal Qasim
said legspinners duo of Shahid Afridi and
Yasir Shah can play crucial role in tonight s
"Cricketers from the Caribbean Islands
have always shown their traditional vul-
nerability against quality legspinners," Qasim
"Afridi and Yasir Shah can capitalise that
weakness if they bowled smartly. Remember
Afridi bulldozed the West Indies batting
in 2011 World Cup quarterfinals in Dhaka
with four wickets haul".
The last time the two times met was in
the 1999 World Cup at Bristol, which
remains the only occasion when Pakistan
won in the battle between the two sides
in World Cup history.
First ball is 6pm tonight Eastern
Caribbean Time/5 pm Jamaica Time. (11
am Australian/New Zealand time)
Batting may prove to be the
difference when T&T faces
Jamaica in round seven of the
West Indies Cricket Board
Professional Cricket League,
which bowls off today at Sabi-
na Park, Jamaica, from 10 am
(11 am T&T time).
Both teams have been strug-
gling for runs and desperately
looking for a win. T&T lies in
fifth position among the six
teams with only one win after
six rounds of action. T&T went
under by 222 runs against Bar-
bados in the last round, in a
match where no T&T batsman
scored a half-century.
Evin Lewis knock of 43 in
the first innings was the highest
score by a T&T batsman in the
match. After scoring 218 in the
first innings, T&T was bundled
out for 113 in the second.
After winning three of its
first four matches, fourth
placed Jamaica has lost back-
to-back matches. In the last
round Jamaica had a similiar
batting performance, when it
lost by an innings and 22 runs
at Arnos Vale in St Vincent
against Windward Islands.
Jamaica was dismissed for 204
in the first innings and 102 in
In another match, leaders
Guyana will play second placed
Barbados at Kensington Oval,
Barbados. At Beausejour Crick-
et Ground in St Lucia, third
placed Windward Islands will
tackle bottom placed team Lee-
Pakistan can give
WI a 'pick me up'
Tonight s match against Pakistan affords mem-
bers of the West Indies team a great opportunity
to bounce back from their defeat against Ireland
on Monday. They definitely need a pick me up ,
and what better team to provide it than Pakistan.
On their best day, Pakistan can be a handful, but
they are one of the most volatile teams in world cricket,
capable of climbing to great heights in one breath, and
capitulating to depths of despair in the other.
They lost to old enemy, India, by a convincing 76
runs in their opener, which could either be a wake up
call, or put them in a mode that challenges their con-
fidence. Their preparation, like ours, was marred by
differences with their Cricket Board which made early
waves with a diktat banning players from using social
media websites such as Twitter.
Those superstitious among us would remember one
of their players was unavailable after he claimed to
have been spooked by a ghost during the night in his
More importantly, a broken curfew by several players
led to fines, and most recently a reported disagreement
between several others and their fielding coach was
followed by news that the latter had resigned - only
for the Board to say the news was false. So there we
go, sound reasons for the West Indies players to feel
that they are playing a group which is quite capable
of self destructing.
The Irish, of course, faced no such problems. My
good friend and former teammate, Phil Simmons, cer-
tainly has them tuned up. His presence has led to a
very cohesive group of players with a tremendous
amount of belief. Phil has instilled an ethic that suggests
it should not be long before they join the test ranks.
Their positive, dynamic approach proved that teams
no longer fear or respect the West Indies. A few years
ago, when West Indies put 300 runs on the board,
that was it, our bowlers were of the quality and class
to defend it. Unfortunately, that has changed and
shows the state of our cricket today.
At no point did Ireland seem intimidated. They
went about the chase with such confidence and pur-
pose, almost as if they knew that the result was a
Even when Phil s cousin, Lendl and Darren Sammy
were pulling us out of a tricky situation, Ireland never
appeared to panic, and when they batted, the 300 plus
they were chasing was always within their grasp.
I would like to think that the individual performances
of Simmons and Sammy has said something to the
other team members. Victory may well depend on
how well they use those positives to create the right
mood tonight. Cohesiveness and confidence are key
compenents in team sport, without which success will
always be difficult. The West Indies must dig deep
and draw on whatever little of these attributes are left.
I still believe that in Gayle, Marlon Samuels, Denesh
Ramdin and Sammy, we have the nucleus of a team
capable enough to make it into the next round.
Both India and South Africa may be difficult to get
past, but we can compete and beat Pakistan, Zimbabwe,
and the UAE.
Three solid performances and we can have one foot
inside the door. It is obvious that the gap between the
countries with Test status and the Associates is closing.
Despite Monday s loss, I still think we have the expe-
rience to move on.
Pride and desire may yet dictate if we do.
Batsmen aim for runs as T&T faces Jamaica
T&T Squad: Rayad Emrit (captain), Evin Lewis,
Jason Mohammed, Yannic Cariah, Khesan 'Yannick'
Ottley, Kjorn Ottley, Imran Khan, Akeal Hosein, Daniel St Clair,
Steven Katwaroo, Shannon Gabriel, Marlon Richards, Derone Davis,
Roland Sampath (manager), Augustine Logie (coach), Kelvin
Williams (assistant coach), Oba Gulston (physiotherapist)
ROUND SEVEN FIXTURES
Leeward Islands Franchise vs Windward Islands Volcanoes at
Beausejour Cricket Ground, St Lucia
Barbados Pride vs Guyana Jaguars at Kensington Oval, Barbados
Jamaica Franchise vs T&T Red Force at Sabina Park, Jamaica
at Hagley Oval tonight
...as Windies, Pakistan meet
West Indies cricket fans show their support during the match against Ireland at
Saxton Field on Monday in Nelson, New Zealand. West Indies lost the game. AP PHOTO
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