Hobart: Two-time former champions West Indies face Ireland and Scotland face Zimbabwe in must-win matches in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup with all four teams in Group B with one win and a chance of qualifying for the Super 12.
The two winners will advance but with rain predicted for Friday in Hobart, there is a possibility of rain playing spoilsport and having a huge impact on the matches, bringing in the Net Run-Rate (NRR) into the equation.
Currently, Scotland lead the table with the best NRR of 0.759 with Zimbabwe in second position. In case both the matches on Friday are washed off without a single ball being bowled, Scotland and Zimbabwe will go through.
Fate decided on field
In case, the West Indies v Ireland match is played and the other match is washed out, the winner of that match along with Scotland will make it to the next stage.
In case the Scotland v Zimbabwe match is played and the other match had to be abandoned, the winner of the match along with West Indies will advance to Super 12.
So, all the teams have a lot to play for and will be hoping that the rain does not intervene and the weather lets the action on the field decide their fate.
West Indies had landed in this situation after losing to Scotland by 42 runs in their first match. They recovered some ground by beating Zimbabwe on Wednesday but are still facing some anxious moments after Scotland lost to Ireland, who themselves lost to Zimbabwe.
West Indies skipper Nicholas Pooran admitted that the reason for their predicament is the failure of the batting unit and said they decided to pull themselves up.
“We spoke (about this) and had to be responsible as a batting group. Enough is enough. We have been failing in the middle overs. We tried to be a bit conservative in the middle overs. But in tournaments like these, guys tried to be conservative trying to build partnerships but then got caught and bowled. At times like this, we need to create our own luck ...,” Pooran said adding that Akeal Hosein and Rovman Powell did just that against Zimbabwe with a partnership at the end of the innings.
Pooran was looking forward to another stupendous effort from his bowlers especially Alzarri Joseph, who claimed 4-16 in his four overs against Zimbabwe.
“Alzarri Joseph, it’s not just now but since the beginning of the year he’s been our best bowler in T20 cricket. Bowling 140+, getting wickets for us and bringing that energy, it’s an exciting time for West Indies cricket,” he said.
“Obviously the energy with the ball after those first two overs, credit to them making our own luck. We spoke about the process and trusting our process with Kyle Mayers bowling the new ball because he’s the only one swinging the new ball. It hasn’t come off yet but we’ll keep supporting him. We’re coming together nicely as a bowling group. We’re still searching for wickets in the Power play. Jason put his hand up as our most experienced bowler here so it’s nice to see him performing the way he is,” Pooran said.
In the other match, Scotland will be hoping to win against Zimbabwe to advance and recover from their six wickets defeat to Ireland on Wednesday.
They had Ireland on the mat at 61/4 in the 10th over but allowed Curtis Campher (72 not out) and George Dockrell (39 not out) to rescue Ireland with a superb stand.