West Indies will seek to write a happy ending to a promising Tri-Nations campaign when they clash with Australia in Sunday’s final, in a contest that brings together the champions of the Twenty20 and 50-overs World Cups.
The lowest ranked side in the three-team tournament, the hosts defied expectations to reach the championship game and are now within reach of their second title in three months, following their T20 success in India.
Australia, meanwhile, reached the final by topping the standings and will fancy their chances of beating the Windies for the second time on this leg and for the third time in the tournament, to walk away with the title.
Written off by many prior to the start of the series, West Indies have shown glimpses of brilliance throughout and captain Jason Holder said this would serve as a confidence booster for his side in Sunday’s game at Kensington Oval.
“It is a big plus for the team and for West Indies cricket. We’ve shown that we can compete against good sides,” the 24-year-old all-rounder said.
“Nobody goes into a final to lose; we’re obviously going to compete; we’re obviously going to win the final. We’ve done reasonably well in this tournament so far to put ourselves in the final and I just think it’s important – as I said before – that we handle the process and let the end result take care of itself.”
He added: “Going into Sunday, I think it’s just basic for one of our top four batsmen to keep going, get a hundred and bat as long as possible and if we can control the first ten overs in the power-play … I think that is crucial for us in setting up the game for our middle overs.
“We’ve all seen the impact of Sunil Narine in this series, Even though he may not have gotten the wickets he wanted in this leg and maybe St Kitts, I think his economy rate is still excellent, he builds pressure and people are very circumspect with him.
“[We have to] finish off the innings and once we do these things and finish well, we’re in with a very good chance.”
West Indies clinched their spot in the final on Friday night when they beat South Africa by 100 runs in the final preliminary game.
The win was their second of the tournament over the Proteas but it did not come without grind. West Indies were slumping at 21 for four in the fifth over before rallying through Darren Bravo’s hundred to reach 285 all out.