Lot will be at stake for West Indies and Ireland as both these teams require to win the match to qualify for the knock-out stages of the T20 World Cup. West Indies, who are touted as one of the strongest contenders of the title started off well against Australia, but then lost the match by Duckworth Lewis match. Whereas for Ireland they had a horrid start to their campaign and lost comprehensively to the Aussies.
Odds are stacked up high against Ireland and West Indies will enter the match as clear favourites, but the nature of the format is such that can be actually predicted. It will be an interesting battle to watch.
Both the teams have some good players and let us take a look at few of the players to watch out for.
Niall O’Brien: He is one of the most experienced Irish cricketers and is their most consistent performer. He has a tremendous experience of playing in England and that will be very useful for his team. Niall O’Brien has in the past won big matches for Ireland. He played a very useful if not match winning knock against Australia in the last match and everyone would want this experienced cricketer to be in his element.
Kevin O’Brien: He is the best batsman in the Irish team as far as T20 cricket is concerned. His ability to hit the ball needs no introduction. He was the top scorer for Ireland in the last match and he would want to deliver on the expected lines.
Trent Johnston: In terms of age, he is amongst the most experienced player who will play in this World Cup. Johnston has been playing forIreland since ages and will once again lead the bowling attack. He can be very good with his variations. He was not so good with the ball in the last match and would want to make amends to that.
George Dockrell: The slow left-arm bowler was named as the ICC Associate and Affiliate cricketer of the year just ahead of the tournament started. He is the key man for Ireland in the tournament and if he can perform the way he has been in past one year or so, expect it to get difficult for West Indies.
Chris Gayle: As expected he started off the tournament with a bang. He scored a blistering half century against Australia in the last match and it just reflects the kind of form he is in. Considering the importance of the match, he will look to perform better than the last match and help West Indies qualify for the super eights.
Marlon Samuels: He was the other batsman along with Chris Gayle who was on rampage against Australia. He scored a brilliant half century and it was a convincing innings. It was largely due to him that West Indies could pile up such a massive score and if he can get going today as well things will become difficult for Ireland.
Sunil Narine: Not much was seen of the mystery man in the last match and the two overs he bowled went for 16. Now he is one of the most economical bowlers in this format and will want to live up to the expectations in this match.
Dwayne Bravo: Bravo is the one of the best all-rounders of the game and his team will depend on him a lot. He is equally effective with both bat and ball. He can change raise the tempo of the match while batting and can also change the course of the game bowling a few good overs. He played his bit in the last match but then would definitely want to do better in this match.
By Samikshan Dutta Choudhury
Indian Sports News Network