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Run-fest expected as WI battles England today
Carnival just finished in T&T but it is about to start in Barbados today, as the people here are all gearing up for a trip to Kensington Oval to support the West Indies, as they come up against England in the first of three T20 internationals. As the teams put in their final training session on the park, there were long lines outside for the early part of the day, as fans braved the scorching hot sun in order to get an elusive ticket. By mid-afternoon the news around the ground was that tickets had been completely sold out for the 2 pm start and Bajans are looking to play mas at Kensington.
West Indies captain Darren Sammy speaking after training said his team is confident of defeating England, who won the limited overs series 2-1 in Antigua last week. “This is the final preparation going into the World Cup. It is good to have this to finalise our team and we are looking to leave with a win going to defend our world title. “We will be looking to put England under early pressure in order to get the win. Everyone is fit and available for selection and we will be finalising the team in the afternoon, looking to put together the best possible combination to help us win.”
Sammy said looking at the pitch a run-fest is expected. “ We are expecting a run fest this time around because they prepare good pitches here. It’s a smaller ground that the one in Antigua with a strong breeze we are going to get runs. We always have good battles against the English and this time will be no different.”
The St Lucian said the home team spinners can play a crucial role and it a good headache to have to many top-class T20 players to choose from: “Spinners can play an important role because it is T20 cricket and with this in mind we welcome Samuel Badree who has an economy rate of five something and of course we have Sunil Narine the number one bowler in T20 cricket. With these guys at our disposal is it a good headache when we sit down to pick the final eleven. Once we play to potential we can beat anybody in the world.” Coach Ottis Gibson was also very confident: “We have some new players out to face England and I think we have a great chance. “We are looking to prepare for the World Cup so you may see some more players being used. We have Chris Gayle the number one T20 batsman and Sunil Narine the number one T20 bowlers in our ranks and once they get the support from guys like Marlon Samuels who did so well in the last World Cup, I see no reason why we can’t win this series and then go on and win the World Cup.”
Meanwhile, England’s Chris Jordan is hoping to get a chance to show friends, family and supporters in his native country what he can do—for the opposition. England’s 25-year-old pace bowler is back in his native Barbados raring to go. After eight limited-overs matches to date for his adopted country, seven one-day internationals and just one Twenty20, Jordan acknowledges he still has much to prove. “I think I’m going all right,” he said modestly, adding his lack of match action while England were winning back-to-back ODIs against the Windies in Antigua over the past week turned out to be to his advantage. “I’m working really hard in the nets—both at the top of the innings, and on my death bowling. “I’ve had a few good practice sessions, obviously having not played those two games. “I hope if I get the chance I’m more than ready.”
West Indies: 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 and Dwayne Smith.
England: Alex Hales, Michael Lumb, Moeen Ali, Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wk), Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad (capt), James Tredwell, and Chris Jordan.