Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 20th 2015 Contents A70
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, March 20, 2015
The Kiwis are
into the quar-
terfinals of the
World Cup, it
like four mis-
unless an unin-
timidated Pakistan showed up with their boxing
gloves against Australia last night, and the West
Indies give their best performance against New
Zealand today, it could well turn out to be a
round that lacked competitiveness.
Truth be told, I never expected Sri Lanka to
surrender so meekly, although one would have
to admire the clinical efficiency with which AB
de Villiers and his men went about their business.
Sri Lanka s tactics and approach were puzzling,
to say the least. I can t understand why they
needed to experiment with an opener, when what
they had before seemed to be working. Their
bowling was always going to be a problem, but
batting wise, this team was capable of much bet-
ter. Kumar Sangakkara was put under so much
pressure in his last ODI match for his country
that the fluency, which was a hallmark of his
superb and classy career, was never allowed to
flourish. The game is poorer for his exit.
This was a big test for the Proteas who have
been known to choke in the past, but they passed
it with flying colours. Steyn, Abbott and Morkel
tortured Sri Lankan batsmen with their pace,
bounce and accuracy, so much so that Tahir and
Duminy were able to stifle the middle. The batting
of de Kock would have been a bonus for them,
particularly the captain who may have had to go
behind the stumps in the semifinals had de Kock
failed with the bat.
India s win over Bangladesh was not unexpected
as MS Dhoni s side is gaining in confidence. Their
batting and bowling are both on song and as we
all know, winning is an aphrodisiac. They have
taken all 70 wickets, and are playing like cham-
pions. Who would have believed they were capable
of doing so well after their dismal performance
in the tri series with England and Australia?
They will be silently hoping for Pakistan, who
they have already beaten, to upset Australia. But
a date and their fate in this competition may well
lie in a battle against the Aussies.
I remain optimistic of Jason Holder s team
beating New Zealand. The hosts are on a roll,
but I go back to 1996 when South Africa blasted
past everyone and came up against us in the
quarters. We were given no chance since even
Kenya beat us by 73 runs. We were 19 runs better
than South Africa when the match ended.
My biggest worry remains our batting lineup.
It has not been working and if the team man-
agement leaves it that way, we are not going to
maximise our potential. Simmons at three,
Samuels, six. Holder seven, Russell and Sammy
Do I need to say more?
Apart from the West Indian community, no
one expects us to win. They hold all the advan-
tages. If we allow that to weigh us down, this
match will be over in a flash. If not, we are going
to provide the shock of the tournament.
I would be the first to say we need a team per-
formance, but I am getting a little weary of what
has emerged in that respect, so I won t go there.
I am going to back one or two of our known
match winners to do something spectacular today.
It could be Gayle, Russell or Sammy, or any
one of the other eight players.
We need something special against a team that
has shown that it is quite vulnerable under pres-
sure. How well we capitalise on such vulnerability
may yet determine the outcome!
One day after all rounder Darren Sammy
was beating up his chest about the West
Indies chances of defeating New Zealand
in their World Cup quarter-finals tonight
at Wellington, bowling coach Curtly
Ambrose took a more realistic view, saying
that consistency must come into his team s
play in order to win.
At 9pm (TT time) tonight, West Indies
will square up against favourites for the title,
host New Zealand at the Cake Tin in
Wellington. There will be a full house cheering
on the Kiwis in temperatures that will be
hovering around 19 degrees celsius.
There has also been a prediction of gusty
winds later in the evening with the match
getting off at 2pm local time, it will surely
play a factor.
Hence the bowlers need to be at the top
of their game according to Ambrose :"I am
a realistic person, I am not one to say that
we are bowling good when we are not. We
need to be more consistent. We have achieved
our first goal and that is to reach the knockout
stages, preparation has been going well but
it is really cold here at Wellington. We are
working hard, this is it, this is not the prelims,
once you lose you are out. The bowlers are
working very hard and looking to get it right,
they need to be consistent in this big game."
West Indies will be keeping fingers crossed
over the availability of opener Chris Gayle,
who has been battling a back injury. It has
been touch and go with the left handed
Jamaican, being good one day and flat out
the next. During the last match against the
UAE, he was declared fit the day before the
match but on the morning of the game, he
was unable to play.
Ambrose thinks that Gayle s attitude will
pull him through: "Gayle has not been fully
fit for years. We expect him to play, we know
what kind of player he is, once he can stand
up and bat, he will come through. We need
him to give us a good start at the top of the
order and although we have to wait until
before the match to make sure, I think he
will pull through. He missed practice yes-
terday, after taking a cortisone injection the
day before to assist with his pain."
New Zealand is cautiously optimistic
knowing fully well that the West Indies have
potential match winners.
Coach Mike Hesson is fully aware of the
dangers of under-estimating West Indies.
"When you think they re down, one of their
players comes out and plays an explosive
innings or bowls a spell that can take out of
the game. Sometimes it s easier to play a
side that s a bit more predictable."
Darren Sammy prepares to bowl during
West Indies training session at the Basin
Reserve in Wellington, New Zealand on
Wednesday. PHOTO COURTESY WICB MEDIA
West Indies: Jason Holder (capt), Chris
Gayle, Dwayne Smith, Johnson Charles,
Marlon Samuels, Jonathan Carter, Lendl
Simmons, Denesh Ramdin, Darren
Sammy, Andre Russell, Jerome Taylor,
Kemar Roach, Sheldon Cottrell, Sulieman
Benn and Nikita Miller.
New Zealand: Brendan McCullum (capt),
Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Grant Elliot,
Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Mitchell
McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Kyle
Mills, Adam Milne, Luke Ronchi, Tim
Southee, Ross Taylor, Daniel Vettori and
There are still reasons for all teams
in the WICB Professional Cricket
League Regional four-day tournament
to approach the tenth and final round
of matches, starting today, with a high
level of vigour.
T&T Red Force, a side that promised
much prior to the season, and Leeward
Islands Hurricanes, a side aiming to
end a forgettable season strongly, will
meet at the National Cricket Centre in
T&T gave a redeeming performance
against Guyana in the last round to earn
a draw, and the Hurricanes blew away
the Jamaica Franchise to post their first
win of this season and end a string of
nine straight defeats in the four-day
tournament stretching back to last sea-
Both will be looking to sow some
seeds of confidence that can drive them
during the off-season and give them
hope for bigger, brighter and better per-
formances next season.
The home team will be highly
favoured, considering they have won
six of their last seven matches against
the Hurricanes, including a six-wicket
victory in the second round this season
at Warner Park in St. Kitts.
Injury too, has prompted the Red
Force to make two changes with Akeal
Hosein and fellow left-arm spinner
Ricky Jaipaul replacing Yannic Cariah
and Derone Davis---but the Hurricanes
Guyana Jaguars wrapped up the title
in the last round after a draw against
T&T. Guyana earned seven points which
put them at an unassailable 22 points
clear of nearest rivals Barbados Pride
and handing them the Headley/Weekes
Trophy of regional supremacy.
Guyana will end its season against
Windward Islands at Windsor Park,
while Jamaica will face Barbados at
Red Force looks for winning end
T&T SQUAD: Rayad Emrit (captain), Jeremy Solozano,
Imran Khan, Kjorn Ottley Jason Mohammed, Yannick
Ottley, Steven Katwaroo, Marlon Richards, Shannon
Gabriel, Bryan Charles, Ricky Jaipaul, Mark Deyal, Akeal
ROUND TEN FIXTURES
Windwards Volcanoes vs Guyana Jaguars, Windsor
T&T Red Force vs Leewards Hurricanes, National
Jamaica Franchise vs Barbados Pride, Sabina Park
Team P W LNRBatBowlPts
Windwards9 5 3 1 21 22 106
Jamaica 9351 5 2
Leewards 91804 2
Links Archive March 19th 2015 March 21st 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page