Cricket World Cup 2011

Windies eye last eight

2011-03-10 10:30
Veteran Ramnaresh Sarwan. (AFP)

Mohali - Grizzled veteran Ramnaresh Sarwan, who knows the difference between a new West Indies golden age and another false dawn, is refusing to ponder a World Cup quarter-final spot just yet.

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The 30-year-old, with 162 ODIs under his belt as well as more than 5,000 runs, believes the West Indies cannot take anything for granted despite being in touching distance of the last eight.

Victory over Ireland on Friday would virtually assure qualification, but Sarwan is wary of the dangers posed by an Irish side who stunned England in a record-breaking run-chase earlier in the competition.

"Every game is a must-win game for us, we can't take anything for granted. The points table has gone back and forth. We have to go out there and enjoy. It is important for us to win this game," said Sarwan.

"Ireland showed what they are capable of in their game against England. We are going to go out there and play to the best of our ability. You surely can't take anybody for granted here.

"The way they played against England came as a surprise. But they deserved to win."

The Caribbean side were well beaten by South Africa in their tournament opener, but responded by thumping the Netherlands and demolishing co-hosts Bangladesh in Dhaka, bowling them out for just 58.

West Indies captain Darren Sammy said he was not getting carried away despite his side's awesome display against Bangladesh, in which fast bowler Kemar Roach took 3-19 to add to his 6-27 against the Netherlands.

Other bright spots in the tournament have been the bowling by giant spinner Sulieman Benn and the potential shown by batsman Darren Bravo.

"We are taking it step by step," Sammy said.

The West Indies have four points from three matches in Group B, the same as South Africa, but trailing India (seven points) and England (five), with the top four sides from each group qualifying.

Sammy said the West Indies, who won the first two editions of the World Cup in 1975 and 1979 and also ruled Test cricket for two decades, were on the right track to regaining old glories.

"We are aware of the history and legacy the West Indies have," the captain said. "We have taken innovative steps to move forward. As a leader I want my team to improve. It is a process."

West Indies will come up against Irish spinner George Dockrell who is still on a high after dismissing Sachin Tendulkar in the team's last match.

Dockrell picked up tips on how to bowl in sub-continental conditions from former Indian Test player Murali Kartik, with whom he shared the dressing room with Somerset in England last season.

"I admire Murali Kartik as a spinner. I saw a bit of him last season in Somerset. He also has amazing control," Dockrell said.

On Friday's match, he added: "It is a big game for us. After the win over England there is a lot of confidence in the team that we can beat any side."


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