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West Indies through to meet England as rain ends Irish hopes

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 25, 2012

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The West Indies earned the right to be England's first Super Eight opponents after rain prevented a result in yesterday's final ICC World Twenty20 Group B match against Ireland at Colombo's Premadasa Stadium.

The Irish were denied a chance to win through to face England at Pallekele on Thursday, as rain wiped out the West Indies' chase of 129 for six. The West Indies thus qualified for the second stage in second place in their section behind Australia.

Both they and Ireland lost to Australia, but the West Indies recorded a superior run rate in doing so.

Ireland's workmanlike innings, on a rainy night in Sri Lanka, was interrupted when bad weather first intervened after five overs – and reduced the contest at that stage to 19 overs per side.

Captain William Porterfield was already gone, for his second golden duck of the tournament to the first ball of the innings, when he could not stop a Fidel Edwards yorker disturbing middle-stump.

Put in after Darren Sammy won the toss, everyone else in the Ireland order from two to eight made double figures – but none more than Niall O'Brien's 25 in an innings which set the West Indies a near-par target, before rain returned. The weather did not relent, and Ireland were therefore knocked out.

The West Indies captain Darren Sammy is confident his side can see off England – but he played down their chances of winning the tournament.

Sammy said: "This is the Super Eight and they are very important games, but we do fancy our chances.

"A strong point for us is the belief we have in the dressing room that once we play to our full potential the quality we have [means] we could go all the way. But we have got to take it one game at a time.

"We did what we had to today to get through to the next stage and we've got to focus again and hope to come through the Super Eights into the semi-finals."

Pointing to the team's bowling strength, Sammy singled out Sunil Narine and believes he could be pivotal against England. He said: "I think that will be the first time England will be playing him when the wicket offers him some assistance.

"When we played in England the wickets were not friendly to Narine. We know any wicket that offers some assistance he can be a handful on, so we'll look and see what happens."

Ireland counterpart Porterfield bemoaned the stop-start nature of the game and said: "I think we've seen enough rain so far this year in England. It would have been nice to get out there and get a result."

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