West Indies aim to revive World Cup campaign against Pakistan
Christchurch, Feb 20 (IANS) Two cricket teams considered highly unpredictable and dangerous - West Indies and Pakistan - clash in a potential cliffhanger in the 10th match of the World Cup at the Hagley Oval here on Saturday. West Indies and Pakistan are both seeking their first win after suffering moral bashing opening round defeats against Ireland and India respectively, reports CMC.
Jason Holders' men had a full training session on Thursday afternoon and all players participated in the session. About the meeting, left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn said that,
"We are ready to turn the corner and go ahead as far as we can in this world cup, We have a very important and difficult game against Pakistan and we are looking forward to that. We got to take things into perspective. We got to see how good the pitches are and how small the outfields are.”
Meantime legendary left-arm spinner Iqbal Qasim said leg-spinners duo of Shahid Afridi and Yasir Shah can play a crucial role for Pakistan against the West Indies. He said,
"Cricketers from the Caribbean Islands had always shown their traditional vulnerability against quality leg-spinners. Afridi and Yasir Shah can capitalize that weakness if they bowled smartly. Remember Afridi bulldozed the West Indies batting in 2011 World Cup quarterfinals in Dhaka with four wickets haul".
West Indies aim to rebound after failing to defend 304 against Ireland although the structure of the World Cup draw means that the Caribbean side is far from out of quarterfinal contention. But a win over Pakistan on Saturday would put their campaign back on track in Group B from which four teams will make the last eight.
"We are not hoping at the moment. We are just putting in some hard work. We are trying to build from strength to strength and go as far as we can," said Benn.
"Spinners have a part to play in any cricket game regardless of how the pitch is. You just have to be smart about what you are doing and use your variations and you should be ok."
Benn missed the Ireland match with an injury but is fit again and available to face the Pakistanis. The 33-year-old Bajan is playing in his second World Cup.
"Once my team plays well and I do the basic well, we are going to be fine. It's a team effort. We are going out there to executive our plan as best we can, We still have a day and a half to decide what the team plan would be but in the eventually I am playing I am good to go.", said Benn.
The last time the two sides met was in the 1999 World Cup at Bristol, which remains the only occasion when Pakistan won against the West Indies in World Cup history.