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Kandy, Sri Lanka – West Indies had a brilliant allround display against England when “everyone contributed”, and will look for more of the same when they face Sri Lanka in their second ICC World T20 Super Eights match at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.
First ball on Saturday is 7:30 pm (10 am Eastern Caribbean Time/9 am Jamaica Time).
The Windies and Sri Lanka both won their opening matches in Group 1 – West Indies conquered England by 15 runs and the Sri Lanka beat New Zealand in a cliffhanger which was decided in the “super over”.
With the home team in action, and a semi-final spot up for grabs, a large crowd is expected at the picturesque ground for what is being billed as “Super Saturday”.
“It was good that our bowlers stuck to our plans and we won against England. We got a full game and showed what we are capable of. We will look to progress and get even better against Sri Lanka. The crowd loves a ‘cracker’ like we had against England and like what we saw when Sri Lanka played New Zealand, so hopefully we will provide some more entertainment for the fans, so long as we come out on top,” Sammy said.
“Their senior players always turn up for them and they have a good mix in the squad. You just can’t count them out at home. Playing them is a big challenge but it’s one we’re ready for – we will focus on all their players. As you know in this format anyone can come and take it from you with a brilliant play, so we will plan well and look to execute.”
Sammy noted that the driving force behind the team is “winning for the fans”, who have not celebrated an international title since the West Indies won the ICC Champions trophy with a two-wicket victory over England at the Oval eight years ago.
“When we left the Caribbean that was the most important thing in our minds, winning this tournament for our fans. The last decade has been tough for us. We last won some silverware in 2004. This a good opportunity for us to do that here and so far we’ve been playing well as a team and we have to take it one game at a time,” Sammy said.
In the opening Super Eights match, the West Indies were led by openers Johnson Charles and Chris Gayle, who added a century stand in 11 overs. The batting was backed up by a brilliant first spell from pacer Ravi Rampaul and leg-spinner Samuel Badree, who was accurate in his first match. There were also two pieces of memorable fielding from Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell on the edge of the boundary.
The Windies captain added that everyone in the dressing room is relaxed as they look ahead to the match.
“We have a great bunch of players and support staff and everyone will be up for this. We have a lot of cool guys. When I’m out there I try to get all the senior players involved in decision-making so everyone feels a part of the team. That’s the important thing for us and it’s easy to do that because my character allows me to involve everyone,” Sammy said.
West Indies Super Eights schedule
Thursday, Sept 27: West Indies beat England by 15 runs at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium
Saturday, Sept 29: vs Sri Lanka at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium – 7:30 pm
Monday, Oct 1: vs New Zealand at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium – 3:30 pm
Thursday, October 4: Super 8 Group 1-1 vs Super 8 Group 2-2 – R Premadasa Stadium
Friday, October 5: Super 8 Group 2-1 vs Super 8 Group 1-2 – R Premadasa Stadium
Grand Final: Sunday, October 7 – R Premadasa Stadium