Michael Vaughan @MichaelVaughan
Tell you what… @westindies might take some stopping at this World Cup … #UniverseBoss #ICCWT20
South Africa v West Indies
With virtually one foot in the semifinals, West Indies will look to secure that spot when they play South Africa on 25th March. This game was always billed as the toughest for the West Indies, given South Africa’s all– round strength. However, West Indies have arguably played better than South Africa so far in the tournament and will be on a high following their two victories. For the West Indies, they ironed out the kinks from the England game to put in an all-round performance against Sri Lanka, and therefore, they would be hoping for more the same.
The most glaring weakness of the South African side is their bowling which was pummeled to all parts of India by England and Afghanistan. However, great sides have great “bounce-back ability”, and the West Indies must be wary of this.
Match 1 England v West Indies
From ball #1 in the West Indies chase, it was the Chris Gayle show. Playing an innings of responsibility mixed with brute power, Gayle scored an unbeaten hundred to lead West Indies to a comfortable victory. Many said the dew got to England, but truthfully, the Gayle factor was more telling than the dew. His knowledge of the conditions in India will be a massive asset for the team.
Sulieman Benn. He was an unsung hero in this game. Despite his very expensive bowling late in England’s innings, his first two overs were impeccable and helped stem the flow of runs during the middle overs of England’s innings.
Marlon Samuels’ has had his struggles over the past year or so, but came back with a bang on Wednesday seemingly returning to form. The West Indies would hope that this continues.
The Team it seems that passion and commitment has returned to the side. This is something that seems to be lacking at times in West Indies cricket, but it is evident that these boys, despite the off field issues with the board, are here to play.
|Match 2 Sir Lanka v West Indies|
The bowling and fielding was excellent and was a massive improvement from the first game. Despite playing without a notable strike bowler and instead opting for Andre Fletcher, the West Indies bowlers and fielders applied significant pressure on the Sri Lankan side. Spinners Samuel Badree and Sulieman Benn were impressive, and were well supported in the field.
Andre Fletcher came into the side at the expense of Jerome Taylor and batted brilliantly at the top of the order. There were whispers that the batting may have come under pressure due to the fact that Gayle, the match winner from the first game, would not open due to a tweak in his hamstring, but Fletcher dispelled those notions with a firecracker innings of 84 not out.
The intensity of the team – the spirit of the team was lauded after the first game and it was evident again in this match. At no time did the West Indies release their vice grip on Sri Lanka and they applied constant pressure on their batsman.
Poor officiating – Sri Lanka could possibly feel hard done by, as some key decisions went against them when they batted and fielded.
The talk after the England game was about the one man show Gayle, but this game showed that there is more to the West Indies team than one man. As tweeted by an observer:
West Indies win with Chris Gayle to spare
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