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Kandy, Sri Lanka – West Indies plan to throw all they have at New Zealand when the two teams meet in their final Group 1 Super Eights match of the ICC World T20 tournament on Monday afternoon, at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium. First ball is 3:30 pm (6 am Eastern Caribbean Time/5 am Jamaica Time).
The Windies enter the match third in the four-team group and a win would put them in a strong position to qualify for the semi-finals later this week. Group leaders Sri Lanka will play second-placed England on Monday night and that result could have a bearing on whether or not the West Indies advance.
West Indies captain Darren Sammy outlined the game-plan when he said: “The New Zealand game is a must-win for us. It’s crunch time…we will give it all we have, I promise you that. We have one more chance to win and qualify for semis. Every game now is a huge game,” he said.
The Windies players know the Black Caps very well after convincingly outlaying them in all three formats in the Digicel Series in July and August. And Sammy said that this knowledge and recent good track record has given his team the confidence that they can win and move on to the final four.
“The good thing for us is that we played New Zealand at home not long ago,” said Sammy. “In that sense, we know exactly what to expect and have a pretty good idea of the skills they bring to the table. At the end of the day, it’s about executing the plan when it counts.”
In their opening Super Eights match West Indies made 179-5 to beat England by 15 runs. In the second match they could only muster 129-5 and went under to Sri Lanka by nine wickets. Sammy admitted that the Windies were outplayed in their last match against Sri Lanka and offered no excuses for the below-par performance. However, he promised a much better show on Monday afternoon.
“…the pitch did suit Sri Lanka, but we’re playing international cricket and when we’re in Sri Lanka we expect the pitches to turn – it’s nothing new to us. I just think we didn’t adapt quickly enough. Even though we normally have a lot of dot balls, we make up in boundaries. That didn’t happen. And we only had one partnership over 50.”
Asked about the possible composition of the team, Sammy hinted that leg-spinner Samuel Badree could be recalled to the starting XI. Badree made his international debut earlier this year when the West Indies beat New Zealand at the Central Broward Regional Park in south Florida.
Sammy said: “There’s a big possibility that Badree could play – it’s horses for courses. If it is dry like it is now, on Monday he stands a good chance of playing. At the start of the tournament the ball was coming through, but as the tournament went on we expected the pitches in Sri Lanka to have low and slow turn type of wickets. We have enough experience in the dressing room to adapt to such conditions.”
West Indies Super Eights schedule
Thursday, Sept 27: beat England by 15 runs at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium
Saturday, Sept 29: lost to Sri Lanka by 9 wickets at Pallekele
Monday, Oct 1: vs New Zealand at Pallekele – 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