Sunday, July 21, 2024

West Indies face USA


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Bridgetown, June 21: West Indies cannot afford another misstep as they take on a tenacious USA outfit in the Super Eights of the T20 World Cup here, seeking to revitalize their quest for an unprecedented third title.
After remaining unbeaten in the group stage, the West Indies slumped to an eight-wicket loss to defending champions England in their opening Super Eight fixture, paying the price for playing out as many as 51 dot balls and failing to rotate strike.
The heavy defeat to England has not only pushed Ravman Powell and his men to the bottom of the group but they now have -1.343 net run rate and need to win big to keep their hopes of lifting the title at home alive.
USA, on the other hand, haven’t won any game since their victory against Pakistan earlier this month. But they gave a good account of themselves against India and almost shocked South Africa, falling just 18 runs short of the Proteas’ 194/4 against a high-quality bowling attack.
The co hosts of the tournament have shown that they are not here just to make up numbers and are not to be taken lightly. They have played an aggressive brand of cricket so far and in likelihood will continue to do so in the coming matches.
“Of course, I would say we’re playing good cricket and the team is gelling well together and at the end of the day we know that we’re going to be the underdogs for all teams that we played against in the Super 8s.
“So, we’re just here to play good cricket and if we go in, we win – if we lose, we lose,” USA batter Steven Taylor said at the pre-match press conference.
However, their weakness is their inexperienced bowling attack that sometimes lacks discipline, and the West Indies, who are blessed with big hitters like Nicholas Pooran, Andre Rusell, Powel, will like to capitalise on that.
“We did lack discipline in the bowling at times. Once we play good cricket we can beat any team in the world. But we need to be a lot more disciplined,” vice-captain Aaron Jones had said after the game against South Africa.Even though they have their backs against the walls, West Indies coach Darren Sammy asserted their “spirits are not dampened”.
“In a tournament, there’s a game where the opposition will get the better of you. But that doesn’t mean you’re out of it. Now, in order to win, we’ve got to win all our matches. And that’s what we’ll focus on,” Sammy said.
Brandon King, who suffered a side strain and was forced to retire hurt against England, remains a doubtful starter for the hosts. If he doesn’t recover, Shimron Hetmyer could take King’s place in the playing XI.USA have been without skipper Monank Patel since their game against Pakistan.
Match starts at 6:00 am IST. (PTI)


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