World Twenty20: West Indies captain Darren Sammy happy his 'six-hitters' have fallen in love with T20

 

dhaka

West Indies and Twenty20 seem to be made for each other. If their divorce from their first love, Test cricket, is merely awaiting its decree absolute, this may be a second marriage made in heaven.

Their buccaneering batting – calypso might be another description – has illuminated the World T20 tournament and it has been complemented by some extremely smart spin bowling. They have brought an unfettered joy to events too easily lost in the maelstrom of big-time sport. If you do not want them to win the thing – unless you are from India, South Africa or Sri Lanka – there is something wrong with you.

"We've a lot of experience, eight of our players play in the Twenty20 leagues around the world," said Darren Sammy, their captain and chief architect of their intent to blaze away down the order. "I guess we love that format and the type of players we have in the dressing room are probably suited for that format."

Sammy is in the short-form form of his life, batting deep in the crease, and happy to hit sixes to any part of the ground, often flat missiles. Twice he has come in to save the innings, against Australia, batting second, when he made 34 not out from 13 balls, and then against Pakistan, batting first, when his 42no from 20 balls resolved a crisis.

Sri Lanka, their opponents in Thursday's first semi-final in Mirpur, are officially the No 1-ranked side in the world. Beaten by England in the group stage (which takes some doing), they looked to be struggling to qualify when they were all out for 119 against New Zealand.

But a stunning bowling performance, in which Rangana Herath took 5 for 3 in his first game of the tournament, saw the Kiwis dismissed for 60. The batting looks suspect, however, and West Indies are ready to take advantage.

There have been observations, the latest by Suresh Raina of India, that Sammy's side tend to miss singles and twos and concentrate only on hitting sixes. This appears justified, not least when Chris Gayle is at the crease. But as Sammy said: "If he thinks we are only six-hitters, then stop us from hitting sixes."

Gayle, the most prodigious T20 batsman, is due to make his mark. While there is a clear joie de vivre in the way West Indies have gone about their business, nobody should mistake how much Gayle wants the team to retain the title they claimed in 2012. It would be wonderful for world cricket if they won. And as for Tests, sadly, like many warring couples, they are hardly on speaking terms. But that is a settlement to attempt on another day.

England's women arrived here today. The team, led for eight years by Charlotte Edwards, will play South Africa tomorrow in the second semi-final. The first is on Thursday between Australia and West Indies.

It is the tie England would have preferred. They have never lost to South Africa in a T20 match. That makes them clear favourites but South Africa, like most women's teams, have improved beyond recognition and their array of spinners is bound to test a batting order that has been distinctly apprehensive so far.

Mirpur details

Probable teams

West Indies D R Smith, C H Gayle, L M P Simmons, M N Samuels, D J Bravo, D Ramdin (wkt), D J G Sammy (capt), A D Russell, S P Narine, S Badree, K Santokie

Sri Lanka M D K J Perera, T M Dilshan, D P M D Jayawardene, K C Sangakkara (wkt), H D R L Thirimanne, A D Mathews, N L T C Perera, K 0M D N Kulasekara, S M S M Senanayake, H M R K B Herath, S L Malinga (capt)

Umpires R A Kettleborough (Eng) and R J Tucker (Aus)

Weather Warm and humid, with a chance of rain and storms. Maximum temp: 33C

TV 1.30-7pm BST, Sky Sports 2

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
fashionHealth concerns and 'pornified' perceptions have made women more conscious at the beach
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
footballA colourful discussion on tactics, the merits of the English footballer and rebuilding Manchester United
Life and Style
Sainsbury's could roll the lorries out across its whole fleet if they are successful
tech
Travel
The shipping news: a typical Snoozebox construction
travelSpending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette
filmHow live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences
Environment
Neil Young performing at Hyde Park, London, earlier this month
environment
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz