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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Gayle and Roach fit for quarter-final

Gayle - ready to return.
Chris Gayle and Kemar Roach will both return to action for West Indies when they take on Pakistan in the first World Cup quarter-final in Dhaka on Wednesday.
West Indies captain Darren Sammy confirmed that the duo would be fit to play, with Gayle having rested an abdominal strain in Sunday's clash with India and Roach having sat out due to viral fever and a stomach infection.
Both the opening batsman and pace spearhead took to the nets on Tuesday, and Sammy was pleased by the intensity he saw.
"I liked the way Chris was hitting balls in the nets," said Sammy. "He is very committed to the West Indies cause. Come tomorrow, and I have not doubt both he and Kemar will play."
Ravi Rampaul stepped in for Roach in the 80-run loss to India in Chennai and took five wickets, playing a key role as India lost late wickets.
Although the hosts were still able to defend their total, Rampaul's contribution makes him a contender for selection in Wednesday's quarter-final, although Sammy was giving nothing away.
"We will assess the conditions and discuss it amongst ourselves before finalising the team," he said. "We will put out the best possible team which can deal with the conditions."
The West Indies were in track for victory against India, reaching 154 for two before they lost eight wickets for just 34 runs.
They also fell apart in their clash with England a few days before, reaching 222 for six in pursuit of 244 but ending up losers by 18 runs.
"We did lose our way and can't keep collapsing like that all the time," the captain admitted. "And we certainly can't do that in a quarter-final.
"But I am confident we can put the past behind us and hopefully the West Indies will win. It will be an exciting game."
Sammy also knows that his side are up against dangerous opponents, with Pakistan ending Australia's 34-match unbeaten run in a comfortable victory over the reigning champions in Colombo on Saturday.
"Pakistan have been playing good cricket, especially Shahid Afridi who has led from the front, but we must focus on what we have to do to execute our plans and win the game," said Sammy.
"This is the quarter-final and everything depends on how we play on the day. It does not matter if you are number one or number eight. If you don't win you are out."
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