Friday, February 23, 2018


Windies coach tells players before must-win T20 vs Pakistan


STRAIGHT BAT: Trinidad and Tobago opener Evin Lewis plays a forward defensive shot as Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) wicketkeeper Chadwick Walton appeals for LBW on the second day of the Regional Four-Day Championship day/night match at Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain on Saturday. Lewis scored 26 as T&T made 451 for eight declared in their first innings and then dismissed CCC for 144 in their first turn at the crease. Following-on last night, CCC were 199 for three at the tea interval. —Photo: ANISTO ALVES

Mark Fraser

l Dhaka

Don’t panic. Stay calm.

That was the call from West Indies coach Ottis Gibson as the regional side gear up for their must-win ICC World Twenty20 Group Two match against Pakistan bowling off tomorrow at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium in Bangladesh from 9:30 a.m. (T&T time).

The defending champions are coming off a thrilling six-wicket win against Australia and are in second place in their group, tied on four points with Pakistan but with a better net run rate of +1.223 to Pakistan’s +0.893.

India have already topped Group Two with a perfect record of four wins in four matches while Australia and Bangladesh have lost all their matches so far and have no chance of progressing to the semi-finals.

“Every game now becomes a must win if we are going to retain the World Cup. Australia was a great win. There was a lot of emotion in that game, but the focus now is to get some really good plans for Pakistan and go out and execute them,” said Gibson.

“We always knew that by the time we get to the Pakistan game, it would all be in our hands and we will know exactly what we need to do,” he added.

The key he said is not to panic.

“With the right people at the crease and the right mindset and people staying calm, almost any score is achievable like we proved (against Australia),” he explained.

“We just have to stay calm and again we need to have solid plans against them and their key men and it comes down to the players on the day executing those plans, but you have to stay calm,” the coach added.

“One hundred and twenty balls is a long time to bat and when you bowl, once you accept that you are likely to get hit because of the nature of T20 and its entertainment, it is how you come back. It is the next ball all the time,” said Gibson.

He said his players would be wary of the Pakistan side but insisted that his players relish the must-win situation they are in.

“They (Pakistan) have always been a dangerous team. We have had some good games against them in the past and we are really looking forward to the game. It is a must win for us and when we have those situations then, like you saw against Australia, we really step it up,” he added.

Pakistan can also step it up as they come off an easy 50-run win over Bangladesh set up by Ahmed Shehzad’s unbeaten 111.

The recent matches between the two sides in the shortest format have all went down to the wire and Gibson expects the final group game to be another thriller.


West Indies (from): Darren Sammy (Captain), Samuel Badree, Dwayne Bravo, Johnson Charles, Sheldon Cottrell, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Denesh Ramdin, Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Krishmar Santokie, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith.

Pakistan (from): Mohammad Hafeez (Captain), Ahmed Shehzad, Bilawal Bhatti, Juniad Khan, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Talha, Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi, Sharjeel Khan, Shoaib Malik, Sohaib Maqsood, Sohail Tanvir, Umar Akmal, Umar Gul, Zulfiqar Babar.