The biggest stage has arrived finally with the knockout game start with the game between Pakistan and West Indies at Mirpur. Pakistan who topped the Group stage will start as favorite to beat West Indies and advance to semi final to be played at Mohali against the winner of India-Australia match.
West Indies will start as underdogs in knockout stage and have the last opportunity to turn the tide in there favor when they will take on Pakistanis. Pakistan whose road to quarterfinal is most surprising because in a game where they have expected to lose able to register a quite comprehensive win and against New Zealand where they treated as favorite but lost the game by big margin.
West Indies won its three matches against the lower-ranked sides in Group B but was beaten by the three higher-ranked teams and threw away winning positions in its last two games against England & India.
Against India no one believed that they will lost the game from 154/2, even some of the expert started to recall as India and Sri Lanka quarterfinal on the card after the lost to the Indians but game changed so quickly in matter of few overs that even West Indies camp can’t believed it.
Against England, the West Indies went from 222-6 to 225 all out chasing 245 runs for victory and punch England out of the tournament and in Sunday's final group match against India; the last seven wickets fell for 34 runs which resulted the clash between Pakistan and West Indies.
Both teams have fare idea about the condition here at Mirpur. West Indies who have played there one of the Group game against Bangladesh in which they thrashed them by nine wickets. Pakistan on the other hand tested the condition even before the World Cup started with the tow warm up games.
Victory for Pakistan could theoretically mean clash with India in 2nd semi final at Mohali but lost here against West Indies will send Pakistanis back to Pakistan where they will watch the game sitting from their home. But thats not easy for West Indies because they have to come out defying all odds against them even the are not giving them any chance to beat Pakistan.
Pitch and Conditions
The Pitch at Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur will provide good support for both spinners as well as pace bowlers. Team winning the toss is likely to bat first and post the score in excess of 280 runs to put pressure on the opposition in such a high voltage game.
Likely Playing XI for both teams (Match is schedule to begin at 14:00 PM India Time)
Pakistan is unlikely to tinkle its winning combination unless Pakistan captain decided to go with Saeed Ajmal considering that in the last two games West Indies batsmen struggled against the genuine off-spinner.
West Indies on the other hand boosted by the return of fit Chris Gayle and K.Roach both is likely to replace Edward and Ravi Rampaul. S.Chanderpaul who is struggling with bat is also likely to get game in place of R.Srawan.
Pakistan: Kamran Akmal (WK), Mohammad Hafeez, Asad Shafiq, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi (Captain), Abdul Razzaq, Saeed Ajmal, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz.
West Indies: Chris Gayle, Devon Smith, Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Kieron Pollard, Darren Sammy (Captain), Devon Thomas (WK), Andre Russell, Sulieman Benn, Kemar Roach, Devendra Bishoo.