23 September 2012 - 06:24pm IST
by R Kaushik in Colombo
The West Indies came into the ICC World Twenty20 2012 as one of the overwhelming favourites to go all the way, but after a poor bowling and fielding effort allied with untimely weather intervention, it finds itself a defeat away from elimination.
The West Indies, which went down by 17 runs to Australia on the Duckworth-Lewis method on Saturday night, must score over Ireland on Monday, also at the R Premadasa Stadium, to move into the Super Eights as the second team behind Australia. Victory for Ireland will catapult it into the next phase at the expense of the West Indies.
Its plans in place, the West Indies is confident of putting it across the Irish. “I saw (Shane) Watson bowl short stuff and get wickets,” said Darren Sammy, referring to Australia’s seven-wicket victory over the Irish last Wednesday, set up by the strength of its pace attack. “The last time we played them, I think we bowled them out for 60-odd or so.”
That was in the ICC World Twenty20 2010 in Guyana, when Ravi Rampaul and Sammy himself took three wickets apiece to skittle Ireland for 68 and register a thumping 70-run victory.
“The game against Australia is in no way going to dampen our spirits,” continued Sammy. “We have good belief in our camp. We just have to come up and execute our plans better with the ball.” The West Indies had a horror run with the ball against Australia, conceding 100 in just 9.1 overs and putting Watson down before the weather forced the match to be called off.
With the West Indies and Ireland both having lost to Australia, this is now a direct shootout. “We win two or win one, we still qualify, that’s how the system works,” pointed out Sammy. “We just have to win against Ireland, and we believe we can beat them. We have to, in order to qualify to the Super Eights. That’s what we intend to do on Monday.”
While most of the teams came up against relative lightweights in their opening game, the West Indies ran into Australia straightaway in its first match. Sammy said that didn’t really make any difference to his team’s outlook. “Whether you play Australia or Ireland first, these are the two matches in the first round. The next one is on Monday. That’s the way these matches are scheduled,” said Sammy. “I would have preferred we could win today and even win on Monday... Just win to qualify for the Super Eight stage. Hopefully the weather stays good and we will get a full game.
“We have confidence in this team,” added Sammy. “We as a unit respect all our opponents and we are going to do that. We are not going to take Irish for granted. We have seen how they have played over the last three years and we are definitely not going to take them for granted.”