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WI men and women ready for semis

West Indies could set further history on Friday in Colombo.

For the first time both men and women’s teams have qualified simultaneously for the semi-finals of the ICC World T20 Championship and will also be looking for that additional victory to take both titles.

Three years ago in England the West Indies men reached the semis but the women did not advance. Then in 2010 in the Caribbean the women reached the semis but the men went out in the second round. Both semi-finals will be played at the R Premadasa Stadium and will be broadcast live on television. The women’s match will be at 5 a.m. Barbados time while the men’s match will be at the same venue under lights at 9:30 am.

The other semi-finals will be played tomorrow, also at the Premadasa. In the women’s match-up England face New Zealand, while in the men’s Sri Lanka meet Pakistan.

Both West Indies captains – Darren Sammy and Merissa Aguilleira – expressed happiness at reaching the Final Four. However, they stressed the ultimate goal was to reach the finals and emerge victorious.

“We are delighted to have reached this stage for the second World T20 tournament in a row. We are feeling quite confident at this stage and believe we can beat the Australians. They are the defending champions but we know we have the players who can win this match and take it all the way. This is what we came here for… this is why we play… to be the very best you have to beat the very best and go all the way,” Aguilleira, who has been skipper for three years, said.

Sammy, who took over as captain two years ago, was in the West Indies squad when they lost the semi-finals against Sri Lanka three years ago, and he has called for one big push in the final phase of this tournament.

“This is huge! We have two more hurdles to jump and I know we have the team to do it. When we left home in September the plan was to be here in October. It’s now October and we are still here, so that means we are at the business end…we mean business,” Sammy said. “We will take it stage by stage. We have worked hard to reach this point and with good planning and execution there’s no reason why we can’t go all the way,” he said. (windiescricket)

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