West Indies v Ireland, 2nd T20, Kingston February 20, 2014

West Indies search for missing spark

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Match facts

February 21, 2014
Start time 2pm local (1900 GMT)

Big Picture

Ireland certainly enjoy their trips to Sabina Park. The "Boys in Green" strolled to victory in the first T20 against a lacklustre West Indies, adding to their list of Full Member scalps. This was different to the breakthrough win over Pakistan on the same ground at the 2007 World Cup, however - Ireland have established their credentials, they merely want the chance to demonstrate them on a more regular basis.

For West Indies, it was their fifth T20 defeat in a row; hardly the sort of form you want to be taking into a tournament as defending champions. Their World Twenty20 campaign begins in just over a month and Ottis Gibson will need to crank up the intensity for the second Ireland match, ahead of three more T20s against England next month.

Since struggling in their opening two Regional Super50 fixtures, Ireland have grown more accustomed to Caribbean climes. George Dockrell and Alex Cusack were impressive with the ball, while Andrew Poynter showed form with the bat. Ed Joyce was fresh to the touring party but immediately found his groove. By contrast, several of West Indies' big names looked decidedly rusty - Darren Sammy, Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels all missed the domestic 50-over competition with injuries, and it showed.

Form guide

(last five completed matches, most recent first)
West Indies LLLLL
Ireland WWWLL

Watch out for

Dwayne Smith is one of the few West Indies players demonstrably in form, having passed 50 three times in four matches - including 83 in the final - as Barbados won the Regional Super50. Smith is one of the slightly less deluxe T20 guns-for-hire going around but tends to give sides plenty of bang for their buck; West Indies could do with more from him than two fifties in 18 innings.

As Ireland adapt to life after Trent Johnston, Alex Cusack may be able to shoulder some of the extra burden. His four overs of niggardly medium pace cost just 17 runs and accounted for Chris Gayle and Lendl Simmons - enough to earn praise from Ireland's coach, Phil Simmons. It may be unglamorous but, on slow pitches such as those that will be found in Bangladesh, Cusack's role will be important.

Teams news

Five West Indies batsmen made double figures only to fall before reaching 20 in the first match but most will get another shot, as there is only Andre Fletcher to call on. Left-armer Krishmar Santokie could come in to provide variety in the bowling attack - though having not played since the Caribbean Premier League in August, he would increase the lacking-match-practice quotient.

West Indies (possible) 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Dwayne Smith, 3 Marlon Samuels, 4 Dwayne Bravo, 5 Lendl Simmons, 6 Andre Russell, 7 Darren Sammy (capt) 8 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 9 Sunil Narine, 10 Samuel Badree, 11 Ravi Rampaul/Krishmar Santokie

Poynter was preferred to the more experienced Niall O'Brien on Wednesday and should keep his place after contributing the second-highest score. Tim Murtagh was expensive, despite claiming two wickets, with Craig Young providing another seam-bowling option within the squad.

Ireland (possible) 1 William Porterfield (capt), 2 Paul Stirling, 3 Ed Joyce, 4 Gary Wilson (wk), 5 Andrew Poynter, 6 Kevin O'Brien, 7 Alex Cusack, 9 Stuart Thompson, 9 Max Sorensen, 10 George Dockrell, 11 Tim Murtagh

Pitch and conditions

The pitch was quite slow for the first T20, which suited Ireland's attack. There is a threat of rain in the afternoon again.

Stats and trivia

  • Ireland are only 10 points behind eighth-placed England in the ICC T20 rankings. West Indies have slipped to sixth.
  • Avoiding defeat would give Ireland their first win in a bilateral series against a Full Member.
  • West Indies' 116 for 8 was their fourth-lowest total in T20 internationals where they have batted 20 overs.
  • Ed Joyce will play his 100th match for Ireland on Friday.

Quotes

"We never took them for granted. We weren't complacent. They bowled well against us and we just didn't handle it as we should have."
West Indies captain Darren Sammy admitted his side were outplayed in the first match

"It would be lovely to win 2-0, especially as we're probably a slightly better 50-over side than a 20-over side."
Ed Joyce confirms Ireland will be going for the kill

Alan Gardner is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • delboy on February 22, 2014, 0:42 GMT

    It is a concern when Andre Russell , who is a BOWLER who bats is unable to bowl even 2 of 4 overs on what is his home ground???

    Part of the measure of a GOOD cricketer is to master your game and also the elements of LOCAL, or home ground advantage. When Bravo got expensive I expected Russell to be trusted in to do what he did to qualify in for association with the best coaching WI has on offer which only seem to succeed in striping every element of world-class performance from its players over the last decade. It is now a known fact WI originated cricketers are GOOD until the get involve with the WI setup.

  • bbpp on February 21, 2014, 22:31 GMT

    How can you play Russel, Bravo and Sammy in the same match even if it is a 20/20? Add Mr. hit or miss and you end up with a score of 96 and barely scrape by against the weakest teams because of bowlers who are true bowlers. That is they can BOWL!!!! Similarly you need batsmen who can bat first and foremost. Not one who can bat a bit and bowl a bit and can throw from the outfield. 1-5 should be genuine batsmen and 8-11 should be genuine bowlers. If the batter can bowl a bit ala Simmons then that's a plus and vice versa. Sammy and Russell fits neither category but I may try with Bravo.

  • Rally_Windies on February 21, 2014, 20:32 GMT

    On paper ..

    nothing is wrong with this WI team .....

    but a Jamaica team will beat Ireland a T&T team will beat Ireland a Barbados team will beat Ireland

    There is obviously something wrong in the dressing room. The players are not responding to the coach and his arrogance and incompetence.

    The coach must be changed.

    Any Coach who can belittle the world Test #1 batsman for batting poorly in a Test, and suggest that he changes his strategy to something more of the coach's liking, has to be an arrogant idiot who has no business in leading an international team.

    Ottis cannot even as a bowling coach sort out his pace men's problems and he wants to doctor Chanderpaul's batting style

    Can anyone tell me how Ottis got the WI gig ahead of Simmons and Logie who also applied ?

  • dummy4fb on February 21, 2014, 18:54 GMT

    Phil Simmons for England coach!

  • Roysingh1972 on February 21, 2014, 18:40 GMT

    Stop it, West Indies is the greatest cricket board in the past, but not in the present and futher. One win every 30yrs

  • dummy4fb on February 21, 2014, 17:48 GMT

    the continual failure over the past 2 decades points the the need for a complete re-ordering of the coaches and board... but obviously, the board would not make a decision put themselves out of power.

    secondly, a lot of our so called "stars" are not as good as they think they are, technically. sure, this is a T20I, but you still need someone to hold the innings together. and this is where the selectors erred in not selecting a dm bravo, or sarwan, or chanderpaul. makes you wonder if the selectors even know anything about cricket.

  • dummy4fb on February 21, 2014, 16:52 GMT

    Is anyone surprised?W.I. will continue down the path to failure until the present system is totally revamped.The odd victory will continue to keep some hope alive only to be dashed by a string of failures.Coach and selectors must go and a proper structure to nurture cricketers from school level onwards must be implemented.

  • satspeare on February 21, 2014, 16:46 GMT

    West Indies NEEDS a batsman to hold the batting together!! It is really ridiculous to be witnessing this continual omission of the BEST, most qualified available batsman in the region! so its HIS age. okay so what about Dareen Bravo? - too what?? Sarwan would have been my 3rd option since his recent performance was comparable in the recent tournament but he is NOT FIT and soon to be TOO OLD also. so now we call on Chris and Samuels - both coming out of injury and not playing any cricket since NZ. how can this work? Pick players on the merit of performance and in this squad will not have Badree, Charles, Cottrell, Samuel and Fletcher replaced with Sarwan or Shiv, DM Bravoo, Barnwell, Cooper and Holder. and yes Ramdin MUST be our first choice keeper given his current form and the lack of form form any other keeper. However, lots of talent in the squad but somehow have to play as a team and rely on someone else to get the job done. Good Luck WI !!

  • asiaciarra on February 21, 2014, 15:27 GMT

    As a WI supporter and long time suffer, I am still rallying, the team is a good team..not sure what the issue is with Darren Bravo omission (seems to be a fallout from the NZ series)...BUT these guys will come good. Still believe in the 11 select that lost...

  • BRUTALANALYST on February 21, 2014, 10:08 GMT

    Bring on the GREENWASH Rally Round Phil Simmons

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