Cricket World Cup 2011

Windies prepare for Tigers

2011-03-02 10:08
The Windies will look for a repeat of their Dutch win. (AFP)

Dhaka - Darren Sammy's West Indies enter unchartered territory when they take on hosts Bangladesh in a crunch World Cup match on Friday - one that could deal a major blow to the losing side's quarter-final chances.

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The West Indies have not played on Bangladeshi soil since 2002, with senior pros Chris Gayle, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul the only survivors from that tour.

Neither team can afford to lose the day-night game in front of a sell-out crowd of 25,000 at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium, after securing one win each from their first two Group B matches.

Barring major upsets, the top three seeded teams in the group - India, England and South Africa - are expected to make the quarter-finals, leaving Bangladesh and the West Indies to contest the fourth spot.

Bangladesh came back after losing the tournament opener to India by 87 runs to down Ireland by 27 runs, despite being bowled out for a modest 205.

The West Indies bounced back in even greater style after the seven-wicket defeat to South Africa, thrashing the Netherlands by a massive 215 runs in New Delhi on Monday.

Gayle hammered 80, big-hitting Kieron Pollard smashed 60 off 27 balls and pace spearhead Kemar Roach grabbed 6-27, including a hat-trick, to issue a stern warning to Bangladesh.

The eighth-ranked Bangladesh are one spot above the West Indies, but Roach was confident the hosts can be tamed in their own backyard.

"We take a lot of confidence into the game against Bangladesh," the 22-year-old Barbadian said after his sensational spell against the Dutch.

"This match was good preparation. We'll go into that match on a high. Bangladesh are an improving team, but we are better than them."

The West Indies will also be inspired by their emphatic 99-run victory over the Tigers in the Super Eights round of the previous World Cup in the Caribbean, with Sarwan leading the way with 99.

If spin comes to the fore on the slow wicket in Dhaka, the West Indies will hope towering left-armer Sulieman Benn, who claimed 3-28 against the Dutch, will deliver.

Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons said the West Indies will feel the absence of star all-rounder Dwayne Bravo, opener Adrian Barath and wicket-keeper Carlton Baugh, who were all ruled out with injuries.

"Those injuries will make this game very difficult for them," Siddons said, adding the home team will have a distinct edge in the match.

"They have a few match-winners like we do. But I am confident our match-winners will blow their match-winners away.

"But we need to play good cricket. This is a big match for us since a quarter-final place will be at stake."

Bangladesh's frontline spinner Abdur Razzak rued the lack of turn in the Sher-e-Bangla pitch, saying it had deprived his team of a massive home advantage.

"This one is very different from the one we had against New Zealand last year when we won 4-0," said Razzak. "It took spin then, but now it is very much in favour of batsmen."

Former captain Mohammad Ashraful claimed two wickets with his part-time spin against Ireland, but it was seamer Shafiul Islam to emerged the star performer with a match-winning 4-21.


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