x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Australia confident of booking semi-final place in St Lucia

Australia, unbeaten in the 20-over game since being knocked out of the last World Twenty20 last summer, will be looking to extend that streak when they meet the West Indies in St Lucia.

Australia, unbeaten in the 20-over game since being knocked out of the last World Twenty20 last summer, will be looking to extend that streak when they meet the West Indies in St Lucia tonight. With two convincing wins in the Super Eights, Australia are virtually assured of a place in the semi-final. The West Indies, who lost to Sri Lanka but then defeated India, will need a big win to reach the last four.

Of course, a lot will depend on the result in the first game, where Sri Lanka will be looking not just for a win over India, but also to improve their run-rate and put it beyond the reach of the West Indies. Unlike the other three in the group, Australia are in a comfortable place. The only way they could be knocked out is if the West Indies beat them by at least 87 runs and Sri Lanka win by at least 68.

Mathematically, it is a possibility, but the way the 50-over World champions are playing, Michael Clarke has no worries. "With the strength of our squad, we've spoken about any situation we get in, we believe we can win," Clarke, the Australia captain, was quoted as saying by The Sydney Morning Herald following the 81-run win over Sri Lanka. "We're doing well; so far, so good. We take a lot of confidence out of this game. Our lower order batting was good and our bowling and fielding were very good, too. It's important that we enjoy this. It's a very good and exciting win for us, but now we go to St Lucia to play the West Indies.

"So we need to make sure we're all fit and firing and be willing to adapt to completely different conditions on Tuesday. "We know we have the talent and potential, it's just about coming out every time and executing our plans." The 14-run win over India has raised the morale of the home side and Chris Gayle, the West Indies captain, is hoping they can keep up the standards. "It was a good victory, this is what we wanted," he said after the India win.

"There's one more game to go and hopefully we can make the semi-finals." * Compiled by Ahmed Rizvi Australia v West Indies, 1am, CricOne