TWO MORE HURDLES
Windies tackle Australia in World T20 semis
West Indies captain Darren Sammy says his players are determined to give long suffering fans something to cling to as they prepare to battle Australia in the second semifinal match of the ICC World Twenty/20 tournament, today.
Amid signs of a recovery in West Indies cricket, Sammy says his men are determined to cross the final two hurdles of the tournament in their quest for world cricket glory once more.
The Windies skipper says a can do attitude has been instilled in the team, eager to keep the smiles on the faces of die-hard fans following a successful London Olympics for Caribbean athletes.
"Since the coach came on board, we've instilled a positive, can-do attitude in the team. We have a lot of belief, and that's been the biggest factor for us," said Sammy.
"We saw it as a 100-metre hurdle. We've got two more hurdles to jump to reach the finish line. Tomorrow (today) is about jumping that hurdle."
West Indies appear to be the slight favourites over Australia despite their loss to them by 17 runs by the Duckworth Lewis method in their group stage encounter.
In that match, West Indian batsmen punished the bowlers, with no Aussie bowler conceding less than seven-an-over.
"We've always had good games against Australia. We've always scored heavily against them. We back our guys and their pace attack seems to favour us," said Sammy.
"Our game against Australia was shaping up to be a very exciting one. Hopefully we have another exciting game and we come out on top."
Sammy is expected to turn to mystery spinner Sunil Narine and Samuel Badree in a spin offensive against the Australians who have shown extreme vulnerability to this form of bowling in the tournament.
Narine, considered the Windies trump card, bowled two overs for only five runs in the 17th and 19th overs of the New Zealand match to put the Caribbean side back into contention.
"They have a lot of experience at the top of the order, but as we saw against Pakistan, you can get into that middle order," said the Windies skipper.
"We back ourselves and we think we have the bowlers in there to get wickets against them. It's a different stage of the tournament. It's the semifinals and there's a lot at stake. We just have to bring our A game."
Meantime, the West Indies women will also face Australia in the semifinals of the ICC World T20, making it the first time that both West Indies teams have qualified for the Final Four in the same tournament.
Both semifinals will be played at the R Premadasa Stadium, and will be broadcast "live" on television.
The women's match starts at five a.m. (T&T time), while the men's match is scheduled for 9.30 am (T&T time).