Such is the irony and unpredictability of Twenty20 cricket that a team tipped to be among the favourites to win the ongoing ICC World T20 tournament — West Indies — could well be knocked out in the very first round.
Having lost to Australia in their opening game by 17 runs via the Duckworth-Lewis method, the Darren Sammy-led side face Ireland tonight at the R Premadasa Stadium and must win at all costs to book a berth in the Super Eight stage.
The Windies have in their ranks some of the biggest hitters in the game in Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, Kieron Pollard, etc. Gayle and Samuels even displayed some of their shots against the Aussies the other night scoring a 33-ball 54 and 32-ball 50 respectively as the Windies piled up 191 for eight.
Gayle in fact, even holds the record for most number of sixes in the World T20 tournament — 27 — and is well on his way having slammed four sixes already in his opening encounter against Australia. He will obviously be hoping that this time round, against Ireland, he can contribute to a winning result. In the bowling department too, the Windies have an edge given their mystery spinner Sunil Narine who was recently adjudged the ICC Emerging Player of the Year for 2012. —