Sri Lanka v West Indies, ICC World Twenty20, 2nd semi-final, The Oval June 18, 2009

Edwards likely to miss semi-final

Fidel Edwards could miss West Indies' crucial World Twenty20 semi-final against Sri Lanka on Friday, after failing to recover from the same back injury that forced him to miss Monday's five-wicket victory over England at The Oval.

Edwards, who has been West Indies' outstanding bowler of the past few months in all formats of the game, has been diagnosed with an irritation of the nerve root in his lower back. He sat out the team's practice session on the eve of the game, but according to a spokesman, they were "very optimistic" that he'll be available for Friday's match.

Chris Gayle, West Indies' captain, admitted that his absence would be a big blow for West Indies, especially against a team that has already beaten them once in the tournament already, by 15 runs at Trent Bridge in the group stages.

"He has been good for us throughout the tournament," said Gayle. "He's the sort of bowler who can actually win you games and pick up crucial wickets at crucial times. Sometimes he can go for runs, but he's a wicket-taker and can change games. He'd be missed, because he was missed for the last game even though we won."

So far in the tournament, Edwards has picked up six wickets in four games, at an economy rate of 9.21 and with a best of 3 for 24 in the memorable victory against India at Lord's. If he fails to recover, Darren Sammy is likely to step in, as he did against England.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo