England to play for pride against West Indies

Published: Friday, October 27, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Ahmedabad:England captain Andrew Flintoff says his out-of-contention side has pride at stake against a resurgent West Indies in their final Champions Trophy league match here on Saturday.

England, beaten by the West Indies in the Champions Trophy final at home in 2004, failed to make it to the semi-finals this time after losing to India and Australia in the four-team group.

The West Indies advanced to the semi-finals after beating India on Thursday for their second successive victory in Group A. Other semi-finalists from this group will be the winners of the India-Australia game at Mohali on Sunday.

"Obviously, we want to finish the tournament with a victory," Flintoff told reporters on Friday.

"We will play for pride and pride is the strong thing to play for. We want to win the game, especially in India. The West Indies may be through, but we want to put up a good show and like to go home with a win."

Flintoff said nothing had so far gone right for his team in the tournament and they were keen on winning ahead of the important Ashes series in Australia next month.

"We have not performed in this tournament, so we need to perform tomorrow. When you are all out for 125 and 169 you ask a lot from your bowlers. But we need to focus now."

England were let down by batsmen as they could manage just 125 against India and 169 against world champions Australia, failing to last their full quota of 50 overs in both the games at Jaipur.

"It is an important game for us in our development. Next week, we go home and spend time with the family. We then get on to the plane and my attention will be on the Ashes," said the England captain.

"The team showed a lot of character when we came back against Pakistan at home this summer to draw the (one-day) series 2-2. We have good players in the team who are keen to perform tomorrow."

Flintoff said there was a possibility he would bowl against the West Indies, but not the full quota of 10 overs.

"It is a possibility as I have been bowling in the nets over the past two weeks or so," said Flintoff, coming off an ankle injury which forced him to skip the home one-day series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

"But I have no intention of bowling the full quota of 10 overs in any circumstances."

West Indies skipper Brian Lara said his team would not take a winless England lightly.

"I am sure they are going to come and play for pride now as they are out of the tournament," he said.

"They are not at full strength, but we are not going to take them lightly and I think it is going to be an interesting game. England have got bigger things to worry about, like the Ashes, and I just wish them well."

Lara said his side would be at full strength even after qualifying for the semi-finals as maintaining the winning momentum was very important.

"What we need now is to continue winning. More than experiments, what we want is to win tomorrow," said Lara, who was declared fit just before the game against India here on Thursday.

"If I am as fit as I was against India I will play. We don't want to have any hiccups this time. We experimented against India (at Kuala Lumpur last month), lost the game and the momentum. We don't want to do that again."

The West Indies captain, just 66 short of becoming the fifth batsman to complete 10,000 runs in one-day internationals, was referring to his side's new-look batting order when he himself came in at number nine.


West Indies: Brian Lara (Capt), C Gayle, S Chanderpaul, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Dwayne Bravo, Runako Morton, Dwayne Smith, Marlon Samuels, W Hinds, Carlton Baugh (wk), Ian Bradshaw, Corry Collymore, Fidel Edwards and Jerome Taylor.

England: Andrew Flintoff (Capt), Andrew Strauss, Chris Read (wk), Edmund Joyce, Ian Bell, Jamie Dalrymple, James Anderson, Jonathan Lewis, Kevin Pietersen, Michael Yardy, Paul Collingwood, Rikki Clarke, Stephen Harmison and Sajid Mahmood.


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