|Scorecard:||England v West Indies|
|Event:||ICC World Twenty20 2012/13|
DateLine: 27th September 2012
England vs West Indies
Super Eight Stage
14th Match at Pallekele
Game 2 of the Super Eights phase of the ICC World T20 2012 will feature defending champions England and the explosive West Indies as they take each other on in what is expected to be a tense affair at the Pallekele International Stadium, Kandy today. This is the second group 1 clash and will be played under lights, following the first game which features hosts Sri Lanka and New Zealand earlier in the day. Both England and West Indies have had their moments in the tournament but have plenty to fix after having slipped up against Group 2 teams, India and Australia in their last opening round ties respectively.
It's hard to pick what has clicked for England so far. The batting which did so well against Afghanistan 'came a cropper' against India. Luke Wright was the star against Afghanistan with the bat. He managed to get support from the other batsmen as well. However that performance has been overshadowed by their dismal show against the Indian spinners. It has left the team with many unanswered questions.
England would aim to overcome the disappointment of recording their lowest-ever Twenty20 total and return to winning ways when they take on a dangerous West Indies in today's match.
England's bowling unit though has relatively less worries, thanks to the vast experience. Captain Stuart Broad and ace spinner Graeme Swann are leaders of this attack and will assume positions No.8 and 9 in the batting order given their all round ability. They will be supported by the wily Jade Dernbach and the feisty Steven Finn who should hold their places in the seam department too. If the wicket turns to be drier than usual, we might also see the inclusion of left arm spinner and all rounder Samit Patel at the expense of Joss Buttler to deepen their slow bowling reserves.
England, however, can fancy their chances against an erratic West Indian seam attack, which so far has looked pretty ordinary in the tournament. Pacer Fidel Edwards has managed to produce early breakthroughs for the West Indies in both the group matches, but has been accused of bowling far too many lose balls.
West Indies have not had a proper outing thus far with both their games being affected by rain. They've done enough to show that they are strong contenders for the cup. The batting was impressive against a strong Australian attack. The good show from seniors like Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels augurs well for them. The bowlers did not have much time against Australia. Like England against India, they too are likely to forget that game in a hurry. They would derive more confidence from their game against Ireland where they performed splendidly as a group.
Changes wouldn't be aplenty here as well, one would reckon, with the core of the side in pretty good form. Chris Gayle and Johnson Charles are likely to open followed by the strong looking middle order of Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo (should he have recovered from injury) and Marlon Samuels, all looking in good touch. The explosive Kieron Pollard is expected to slot in at No.6 ahead of wicket keeper Denesh Ramdin and skipper Darren Sammy, who are both also more than capable with the bat in this format.
The Windies bowling was attacked by the Aussie openers the other night on a belter of a wicket and hence we might see some of their bowlers spared from getting the axe. Fidel Edwards and Ravi Rampaul will share the new ball while the mysterious Sunil Narine will play the lone spinner role.
The intentions have been laid bare. Considering England's weakness against spin, West Indies skipper Darren Sammy could well be tempted to play leg-spinner Samuel Badree ahead of all-rounder Andre Russell. In Sunil Narine they have just the man to lead the way. Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels can be expected to chip in with a little more than their usual quota. The lack of two completed games could act to worry them a bit but it will also mean that the players are fresher than usual. They will be a force to reckon with.
England: Craig Kieswetter(w), Alex Hales, Luke Wright, Eoin Morgan, Jonathan Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad(c), Graeme Swann, Steven Finn, Jade Dernbach, Ravi Bopara, Danny Briggs, Samit Patel, Michael Lumb
West Indies: Dwayne Smith, Chris Gayle, Johnson Charles, Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Darren Sammy(c), Denesh Ramdin(w), Ravi Rampaul, Sunil Narine, Fidel Edwards, Samuel Badree, Darren Bravo, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons
Pitch: The wicket in Pallekele has been full of runs in the previous games, but this one might just be a tad slower, considering it is the second game for the day on the square.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
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