West Indies’ key man Sammy fit to face Pakistan


West Indies linchpin Darren Sammy has been cleared to play in their pivotal World Cup match against Pakistan in Christchurch on Saturday after being hampered by a back strain in their first up loss to Ireland.

“We should have a full complement to choose from,” captain Jason Holder declared on the eve of the match between two sides fighting to get points on the board in Pool B after suffering first-up losses.

The West Indies suffered a surprise four-wicket loss to Ireland in their opening World Cup encounter while Pakistan were outclassed by more formidable opposition in India.

Despite being beaten by one of the minor teams, Holder said his team remained upbeat in their belief they will be one of the four teams from Pool B to qualify for the quarter-finals.

The pool also includes South Africa as well as Zimbabwe and the United Arab Emirates.

“We can’t let our defeats get us down. Obviously we lost a game against Ireland. It was a tough loss, but if we get ourselves down it’s hard to pick ourselves up so we are trying to keep the mood going,” Holder said.

“What is clear for us is if we execute our plans and we carry out what we want to do we know we can be very successful so it’s just about consistency.”

A fit Sammy is essential for the West Indies, who are already down on bowling strength with the absence of Sunil Narine.

Against Ireland, former captain Sammy contributed 89 with the bat and figured in a key 154-run partnership with centurion Lendl Simmons when the West Indies posted 304 batting first.

But his troublesome back saw him pulled from the attack after conceding an expensive 25 runs in three overs as Ireland overhauled the target with 25 balls to spare.

“We’ve got him to the stage where we think he’s going to be a lot better off than what he was in the first game against Ireland,” Holder said.

Sammy was not the only West Indies bowler to be caned by Ireland with Jerome Taylor going for 71 in nine overs, although compensating with three wickets, while Kemar Roach took none for 52 and Holder none for 44.

“We didn’t bowl particularly well in the last game and that was a big concern for us so we have tried to correct things in terms of our preparation and go into the game with full confidence,” Holder said.(AFP)