x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Ramnaresh Sarwan taking Windies progress one game at a time

The experienced batsman, who knows the difference between a new West Indies golden age and another false dawn, is refusing to ponder a World Cup quarter-final spot just yet.

Ramnaresh Sarwan, who knows the difference between a new West Indies golden age and another false dawn, is refusing to ponder a World Cup quarter-final spot just yet.

The 30-year-old, with 162 one-day internationals (ODIs) under his belt as well as more than 5,000 runs, believes the West Indies cannot take anything for granted despite being in touching distance of the last eight.

Victory over Ireland today would virtually assure qualification, but Sarwan is wary of the dangers posed by an Irish side who stunned England in a record-breaking run-chase earlier in the competition.

"Every game is a must-win game for us, we can't take anything for granted," the batsman said yesterday. "The points table has gone back and forth. We have to go out there and enjoy. It is important for us to win this game.

"Ireland showed what they are capable of in their game against England.

"We are going to go out there and play to the best of our ability. You surely can't take anybody for granted here.

"The way they played against England came as a surprise. But they deserved to win." The Caribbean side were well beaten by South Africa in their tournament opener but responded by thumping the Netherlands and demolishing Bangladesh, the co-hosts, in Dhaka, bowling them out for just 58.

Darren Sammy, the West Indies captain, said he was not getting carried away despite his side's superb display against Bangladesh, in which fast bowler Kemar Roach took three for 19 to add to his six for 27 against the Netherlands.

Other bright spots in the tournament have been the bowling by Sulieman Benn, the giant spinner, and the batting potential shown by Darren Bravo.

"We are taking it step by step," Sammy said.

The West Indies have four points from three matches in Group B, the same as South Africa, but trail India (seven points) and England (five), with the top four sides from each group qualifying.

Sammy said the West Indies, who won the first two stagings of the World Cup in 1975 and 1979 and also ruled Test cricket for two decades, were on the right track to regaining old glories.

"We are aware of the history and legacy the West Indies have," the captain said.

"We have taken innovative steps to move forward. As a leader I want my team to improve. It is a process."

The West Indies will come up against George Dockrell, the Irish spinner who is still on a high after dismissing Sachin Tendulkar, the Indian batsman, in the team's last match.

Dockrell, 18, picked up tips on how to bowl in subcontinental conditions from Murali Kartik, the former Indian Test player with whom he shared the dressing room with Somerset in England last season.

"I admire Murali Kartik as a spinner. I saw a bit of him last season in Somerset. He also has amazing control," Dockrell said.

On today's match, he added: "It is a big game for us. After the win over England there is a lot of confidence in the team that we can beat any side."