CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand, CMC- Two teams, considered highly unpredictable and dangerous, West Indies and Pakistan, clash in a potential cliffhanger in the 10th match of the ICC Cricket World Cup here at the Hagley Oval this evening local time.
West Indies and Pakistan are both seeking their first win after suffering moral bashing opening round defeats against Ireland and India respectively.
Jason Holders men had a full training session yesterday afternoon and all players participated in the session.
“We are ready to turn the corner and go ahead as far as we can in this world cup,” announced Left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn.
“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 legspinners duo of Shahid Afridi and Yasir Shah can play crucial role for Pakistan against West Indies.
“Cricketers from the Caribbean Islands had always shown their traditional vulnerability against quality legspinners,” Qasim said.
“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 (a) 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 quarter-final contention.
But a win over Pakistan in Christchurch today 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 ICC Cricket 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 bests we can,” said Benn.
“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”.
The last time the two times met was in the 1999 World Cup at Bristol, which remains the only occasion when Pakistan won in the battle between the two sides in World Cup history.
First ball is 11 am (6pm Friday Eastern Caribbean Time/5pm Jamaica Time).