Having served notice of its intentions with a hard-fought win over world champion England, the West Indies goes into the next Super Eight game in the ICC World T20 tournament on Saturday with a spring in its step.
A win on Saturday, for both teams, is crucial for advancing into the semifinals.
The spinners did the trick for the West Indies in its match against England. It could work against New Zealand as well. But the next game is against Sri Lanka, and the West Indies is considering how to tackle that one.
Horses for courses
Asked if the West Indies would change tack for the next match, a beaming Darren Sammy said: “Probably. England do not play spin too well. That’s why we brought in [Marlon] Samuels. Fidel [Edwards] has been bowling well too, but we had to leave him out. It’s horses for courses.”
Sammy has his eyes firmly fixed on the ‘silver,’ the Cup and says it’s time the cup travelled to the Caribbean. The players were combining well as a team, and were contributing keeping in mind the needs of the team. As a captain, he feels that he cannot ask for anything more.
Sri Lanka also is on a high, having won the closest game in the tournament so far. It’s the first time that Sri Lanka has won at home, chasing, in a T20 match.
The team has left behind its loss to South Africa in the group stage and looks forward to taking on the West Indies on Saturday.
The expectations on Sri Lanka are huge. “It’s going to get tougher and tougher for us. It’s about getting a good start and capitalising on that,” says Mahela Jayawardena.
Eighteen-year-old Akila Dananjaya clicked for Sri Lanka against New Zealand.
“Depending on the surface, depending on the opposition, we can use him,” Jayawardena said, and added that the youngster had to be given a game to get the jitters out of him.
The teams (from):
West Indies: Darren Sammy (capt.), Dwayne Bravo, Samuel Badree, Darren Bravo, Johnson Charles, Fidel Edwards, Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons and Dwayne Smith.
Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardena (capt.), Angelo Mathews, T. Dilshan, Tharanga Parnavithana, Kumar Sangakkara, Thilan Samaraweera, Dinesh Chandimal, Prasanna Jayawardena (wk), Chanaka Welegedara, Suraj Randiv, Rangana Herath, Nuwan Kulasekera, Nuwan Pradeep, Thisara Perera and Jeewan Mendis.
Umpires: Steve Davis and Aleem Dar.
Third umpire: Simon Taufel.