Australia and the West Indies are due to face off on Friday, October 5, to help decide which of the two will join Sri Lanka in the final on Sunday.
Australia have been the most dominant team of the competition so far and their solitary loss in their last super eights game to Pakistan has done nothing to diminish that impression. Against Pakistan, Australia were clearly focused on cementing their semi-final slot. To that end they chose to field after winning the toss so they would know what target to chase to ensure that they progressed. That target was 112, and despite a wobbly journey, accompanied by the loss of several wickets, George Bailey’s men accomplished what they had set out to do thanks to a sheet anchor role played by Mike Hussey.
The West Indies enjoyed a more fortuitous entry into the semi-finals; thanks to brilliant spell by Sunil Narine, they tied a match against New Zealand that they could have so easily lost and then went on to score 18 runs in a tie-breaker over to clinch it.
Both Watson and Warner failed to fire against Pakistan and got the law of averages out of the way, in the process. That’s an ominous sign for the West Indies, as the two openers have demolished rival attacks in four games out of five. Watson in particular has been impressive with bat and ball alike and currently has the most runs and most wickets in the competition. Barring Narine, in the rival squad, on Friday, no bowler should hold out any threat to the Aussies who have displayed the hard-as-nails approach that Steve Waugh’s Australians exemplified some years ago.
In Rampaul and Narine, the West Indies have bowlers who can trouble the best batsmen. In Gayle they have a batsman who can demoralise the best bowlers. The Caribbeans also have some accomplished all-rounders in the form of Bravo and Pollard who have established their T20 credentials, in the IPL. Sammy’s men will find the tag of underdogs to their liking as pressure of expectation can be the undoing of teams in a matter of just a couple of overs, in this shortest edition of the game.
Prediction: Australia have a firm eye on the final and the West Indies are unlikely to be able to stop them getting there.
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.