Colombo: Having lost to Australia in their World Twenty20 opener, West Indies would not have the luxury of experimenting against Ireland here on Monday, as they need a win at any cost to book a berth in the Super Eights stage.
Although West Indies start as clear favourites, especially with Chris Gayle in smashing form, the William Porterfield-led Irish side has a penchant for springing a few surprises at the big stage.
West Indies would make the mistake of taking Ireland lightly, only at their own peril.
The Darren Sammy-led West Indies, despite losing to Australia by 17 runs via the Duckworth-Lewis method here on Saturday night, showed that they have got the team to go the distance.
Big-hitters like Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, Kieron Pollard can destroy any side on a given day. The glimpse of their brilliance was on display on Saturday when both Gayle and Samuels smashed half-centuries each to help West Indies post a competitive 191 for eight.
While Gayle made a blistering 33-ball 54, Samuels raced his way to a 32-ball-50.
The Irish won both their warm-up matches in the before going down to Australia in their first league match of the tournament.
Despite their none-too-impressive performance against the Aussies, the O'Brien brothers -- Niall and Kevin -- showed what they are capable of during their 52-run fifth wicket stand, which helped Ireland reach a total in excess of 120, after reeling at 33 for four at one stage. Niall also scored a fabulous 62 that helped his side to beat Zimbabwe in a warm-up match.
Besides the O'Brien brothers, the others also should not be taken for granted. Opener Paul Stirling led the charge with a quickfire 71 off 41 balls against Bangladesh.
Ireland’s bowlers, though, had little to defend against Australia, who were chasing a modest 124.
The attack boast of left-arm spinner George Dockrell, who was recently, adjudged the Associate Player of year 2011. Their quicks, led by the experienced Boyd Rankin along with Alex Cusack, also have lot of potential.
West Indies: 1 Darren Sammy (Capt), 2 Dwayne Bravo, 3 Johnson Charles, 4 Fidel Edwards, 5 Chris Gayle, 6 Sunil Narine, 7 Kieron Pollard, 8 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 9 Ravi Rampaul, 10 Marlon Samuels, 11 Dwayne Smith.
Ireland: 1 William Porterfield (Capt), 2 Alex Cusack, 3 George Dockrell, 4 Trent Johnston, 5 Ed Joyce, 6 Kevin O'Brien, 7 Niall O'Brien (wk), 8 Boyd Rankin, 9 Paul Stirling, 10 Stuart Thompson, 11 Gary Wilson.