West Indies aware of Irish threat

Ireland can expect a West Indies blitz when the two sides meet at Sabina Park later today.

Ireland can expect a West Indies blitz when the two sides meet at Sabina Park later today.

With both sides already qualified from Group D, the match is effectively their first game of the Super Eight, with the victor knowing they will progress to the second round-robin stage with two points already secured.

Ahead of the match in Kingston, the hosts’ coach Bennett King has claimed there is no chance his side will underestimate the Irish, who shocked Pakistan in their last World Cup match.

“We will treat it like a Super Eight game and it is going to be very important for us since we want to go through in the number one position and carry the two points through to the next stage,” King said.

West Indies lost their last match against Ireland in Belfast, on their 2004 tour of Britain, by six wickets, so no one needs to tell King that his side’s opponents are dangerous.

He added: “I do not think that Ireland have played above expectations because they have got a very sound bowling attack, and their top-five batsmen have certainly done the job for them in the Associates’ competitions.

“They beat West Indies a few years ago with a lot of these same players in that side, and so it should be a good match. If we play to our capabilities we should still come out on top.”

Ireland coach Adrian Birrell is also refusing to rest on his laurels following the stunning win over Pakistan, and has already pinpointed areas where his team can do better.

“We will be looking for an improved performance against West Indies,” he said.

“We will be looking to bowl less extras. We will be looking to get more balls in good areas. We will be looking to be more consistent. We will also be looking to maintain the fielding standard and batting standard that we set against Pakistan.”

Birrell also hopes his players enjoy the occasion as much as they relished their last trip to Sabina Park.

He said: “Realistically, we are a small cricket nation. We do not have the experience of the top 10 sides in this World Cup. We will just be going into the match to enjoy it.

“Everyone saw how we played against Pakistan. We played with passion, and with a smile on our faces, and so we will relish the challenge of taking on West Indies.

“We acknowledge that they have some wonderful world-class players, but we will do what we did against Pakistan and try our best.”

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