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West Indies upbeat ahead of pivotal tie

Published Feb 24, 2015, 11:18 am IST
Updated Mar 29, 2019, 6:11 pm IST
Frustration building in West Indies camp over Gayle’s inability to tee off to a big score
Canberra: The West Indies believe they have turned the corner as they prepare to face Zimbabwe in a pivotal Pool B World Cup match at Canberra’s Manuka Oval on Tuesday.
The West Indians celebrated their first victory of the tournament with a thumping 150-run win over Pakistan in Christchurch on Saturday following their shock first-up loss to Ireland.
Tuesday’s match is set up nicely after Zimbabwe also posted their first points with a four-wicket triumph against the United Arab Emirates at Nelson on Thursday. West Indies will start favourites to beat the Zimbabweans after winning 34 of their previous 44 one-day international encounters against the Africans, but, as Ireland showed, upsets are possible. The Caribbean cricketers were criticised heavily after their lethargic loss to Ireland, but all-rounder Andre Russell believes his team now have momentum. “It’s a very good feeling winning a game after losing to Ireland, in that manner,” said Russell, man-of-the-match against Pakistan with an unbeaten 42 and 3/33. “It just goes to show that the West Indies can dominate and we are here to compete.
“On the day we have to turn up. It doesn’t matter which team we play against, we’re going to have to play our A game. “It’s the momentum, and once we keep doing what we can do, I think we’re going to go all the way.”
However, the form of West Indies opener Chris Gayle continues to be a concern. He was out for four against Pakistan and his average has dropped to 14.42 over 19 innings. Darren Bravo will miss the West Indies next two pool games after pulling his left hamstring in the Pakistan match.
Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura said his team has targeted victory after breathing new life into their Cup campaign with victory over UAE. After losing their opener to South Africa, Zimbabwe allowed the UAE to carve out the Middle East nation’s highest ODI score of 285 before claiming victory with 12 balls to spare.
“We need to take this momentum into the game against the West Indies,” said Chigumbura. “Hopefully we can polish up our fielding.” Sean Williams said: “We have to respect the opposition. West Indies on the day, Chris Gayle comes at you and he’ll beat people single-handedly.”