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ICC World Cup: It's a knife-edge Sunday

West Indies, Pakistan and Ireland will tussle for the last two quarter-final spots in Pool B today

WI hope to overcome weather, UAE 

Napier: The West Indies will be looking to dispose of the United Arab Emirates in swift fashion on Sunday, captain Jason Holder said as a looming storm threatened their World Cup play-off chances.

The West Indies must beat the amateurs to make the quarter-finals, but it will be an early flight home if they lose, or if approaching Cyclone Pam forces the game to be abandoned. “It’s a must-win game for us. Obviously, if the weather plays a part, it’s beyond our control, but we just need to control what we can control, and that’s the game," Holder said Saturday.

“If we can wrap it up as quickly as possible, that’s a plus for us." The West Indies go into the match two points behind Pakistan and Ireland with all three sides in contention for the remaining two quarter-final spots from Pool B behind India and South Africa.

A win to the West Indies should put them into the play offs with a superior run rate over the loser of the Pakistan-Ireland match to be played later Sunday in Adelaide.

Holder was also not shy in outlining their plans for UAE who struggled against a barrage of short deliveries when they faced South Africa’s battery of quicks. “Obviously they seem to not like the aggressive stuff, so it’s in our nature to be aggressive and we just need to be aggressive and play aggressive cricket." The West Indies cannot afford a washout as the one point for an abandoned game will not be enough to get them through.

Captains’ wishlist

Jason Holder
West Indies

>> Chris Gayle is unstoppable
>> Team wins with a big margin
>> S Anwar departs early

Mohammad Tauqir
United Arab Emirates

>> Openers improve their form
>> Swapnil Patil scores another half-century
>> He bowls a miserly spell

Misbah urges Pak to value new life 

Adelaide: Pakistan captain Misbah-ul Haq urged his team to build on the momentum gained over the last two weeks as they clash with Ireland in a must-win World Cup game at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday.

The last league match in the month-long group stage will steer the winner into the quarter-finals and leave the loser facing a tricky run-rate scenario against the West Indies.


Pakistan players train on the eve of their must-win clash against Ireland in Adelaide on Saturday. Pic/AFP

A likely win for the West Indies over the United Arab Emirates earlier on Sunday will bring them level with Pakistan and Ireland on six points to set up a keen finish for the knock-out rounds.

“We have got a new life in this tournament and we must ensure we do not waste it," said the 40-year-old Misbah, who along with teammate Shahid Afridi, will quit one-day cricket once their World Cup ends.

“There will be no second chance. Just go there, be positive, try to get wickets when you bowl and score runs when you bat. The bowlers have done very well so far, it’s now the turn of the batsmen to deliver."

Ireland positive
Meanwhile, Ireland captain William Porterfield is confident his side has prepared well for Pakistan match, but insisted it was just another game. “It’s just another game of the group in terms of preparation," he told reporters on Saturday.

“Obviously result-wise it’s a key match, but you are still going to prepare like you do for each match. The opposition is what’s in front of you, and you have to prepare to beat them. I don’t think you can think about the outcome and put pressure on yourself,” he added.

Pool B qualification scenario

Pakistan

>> If they beat Ireland today, they are through
>> If they lose and Windies win, they need to have a better NRR than WI

West Indies 

>> They must beat UAE & hope Pak defeat Ireland to qualify
>> If Ireland beat Pak, then result margins will come into play

Ireland 

> They must beat Pak and WI lose to UAE to make it to QF
> Ireland will be out if WI and Pakistan win by any margin

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