West Indies v Ireland, ICC World Twenty20 Group D
Preview by Gurjeet Sapal
The first group D game gets underway later today, (21:00 GMT) with the home side West Indies taking on qualifiers Ireland.
Both sides are yet to win since the ICC warm-up games started two days ago. They were both beaten by New Zealand on consecutive days, although the West Indies did push the Black Caps to within seven runs.
Ireland lost to bottom-ranked side, Afghanistan, two days ago by five wickets. The Afghans bowled first and kept the run rate tight. John Mooney for Ireland, top scored with 42 from just 33 balls, including two fours and three sixes while Gary Wilson, also played well to make 32 from 26 balls.
Afghanistan chased the modest total down with three balls to spare, only opening bowler Trent Johnston was economical with figures of four overs, 14 runs for one wicket.
If Ireland are to beat Chris Gayle and his men, they are going to have to put on a better show with the bat and stretch the dangerous West Indians.
However the West Indies or England will write Ireland off at their peril. They have been known to upset some of the big sides in recent times. They beat Pakistan by three wickets in the 2006/07 World Cup. They bowled out Pakistan for 132 and chased it down with nine overs to spare. Niall O’Brien saw his side home with a well accomplished knock of 72.
The West Indies will be looking to Kieron Pollard to reproduce some of his devastating form with the bat that he showed in the IPL. Pollard was the highest paid player in the 2010 IPL and this was because of his reputation of being able to take bowling attacks apart. In the final, Pollard made 27 from just 10 balls to give the Mumbai Indians a glimmer of hope before the Chennai Super Kings sealed the win.
Both teams will go in to the game desperate to get the first win under their belts. They will want to take some momentum in to their game against England, who look very strong under the leadership of Paul Collingwood. The West Indies take on England on the third of May in the second group D clash.
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