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Windies chase perfection
With three wins from as many matches, the West Indies will play lowly Afghanistan in their final Super10 match of the ICC World T20 at Nagpur in India today for 5.30 am (T&T Time).
After their narrow three-wicket win over South Africa on Friday, the West Indies booked a place in the semifinals of the tournament and with a win against Afghanistan they will top Group 1 and play the second place team in Group 2, in their semifinals which will take place in Mumbai on Thursday.
The West Indies did enjoy their clash against England at the Wankhede and all the along the players were hoping that they play their semifinals in Mumbai, as opposed to the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi.
The West Indies will then face the winner of the Australia versus India clash with takes place later today. The other semifinals will pit Group 2 winners New Zealand and either South Africa or England.
Looking ahead to today’s game, West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels who was man of the match for his 43 against South Africa said: “We have very good team and we want to continue that winning way. So far we have had different experiences and I like the way we kept our nerve and won the last game.” He continued: “Chasing 123 for victory against South Africa, the West Indies slipped from 66/2 to an eventual 123/7. We kept our nerve and good that we can carry home games when under pressure. When you are playing on pitches like this you have to play as late as possible and I guess it will be the same in the last encounter.”
Meanwhile, West Indies coach Phil Simmons is not taking Afghanistan lightly. He pointed out that: “They’ve played well in all the games. They’ve batted really well, when they were chasing a big score against South Africa, who we played yesterday. So they’ve been playing well and I know them from before, so I know that they’re going to come to try and win. So we’ve got to just play properly.”
Afghanistan captain Asghar Stanikzai says: “It has been a lucky ground for us because we have won our first round over here in Nagpur. So definitely after playing three matches and coming back it’s like a home ground and easy to adjust to the wicket. The boundaries here are very different compared to other grounds. They are longer boundaries and in addition to that we have good spinners. So, on this wicket our spinners will really help us to finish on a good note.”
Darren Sammy (Captain), Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Bravo, Andre Fletcher, Sulieman Benn, Evin Lewis, Samuel Badree, Johnson Charles, Andre Russell, Chris Gayle, Denesh Ramdin, Jason Holder, Jerome Taylor, Ashley Nurse and Carlos Brathwaite.
Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Noor Ali Zadran, Asghar Stanikzai (capt), Gulbadin Naib, Samiullah Shenwari, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Najibullah Zadran, Shafiqullah, Amir Hamza, Hamid Hassan, Dawlat Zadran, and Shapoor Zadran.
West Indies are one of three Full Members that Afghanistan have never met in T20Is. Against the seven they have met, they have won five and lost nine (with all five wins coming against Zimbabwe)
West Indies have played only one other Associate team, Ireland, in T20Is. In their four matches against Ireland, they won two and lost one, with one no result.