Resurgent West Indies face Ireland threat

Aware that any slip-up could pose a serious threat to their quarterfinal chances, a resurgent West Indies will take on giant-killers Ireland in an interesting group B match of the cricket World Cup here on Friday. With two victories in three matches, the West Indies are standing on the brink of quarterfinals and a win against Ireland at the PCA Stadium on Friday will more or less secure their place in the last-eight stage. With four points in their kitty, the West Indies are in the third place in Group B behind India and England but in advance of South Africa on net run rate. The top four sides from each group qualify for the quarterfinals.

After the defeat at the hands of South Africa in their tournament-opener, the Caribbean side made a strong comeback and demolished the Netherlands and co-hosts Bangladesh in their next two outings. But the West Indians are aware of the challenges posed by the Irishmen and would do well not to take the game calmly as hard matches against India and England await them in the tournament after Friday's day encounter."We have played against them quite a lot and know what they are capable of. But we can't take any side for granted in this contest particularly after the way Ireland played against England," senior West Indies batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan said ahead of Friday's match.

"Every game is a must win game for us in this tournament. We will just go out there play and enjoy."The West Indies have a strong batting line-up and will be looking to explosive Chris Gayle for a firm start. Young Darren Bravo showed great potential at the number three position while the middle-order has loads of experience in Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivanarine Chanderpaul. Also, in Keiron Pollard down the order, the West Indies have a batsman who can tear apart any bowling side on his day. However, the West Indies, who have a legacy of producing great fast bowlers, have some concerns on the bowling front. Apart from Kemar Roach, they don't have a quality pacer in their attack.


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