West Indies waiting on Gayle

Gayle missed the final pool match against the United Arab Emirates on Sunday due to a back injury which required a pain-killing injection, and did not train with his team-mates until Friday.

“Chris is out playing this morning,” said captain Jason Holder on Friday. “He’s had an injection, nothing major. We’ll see how he pulls up today and make a decision tomorrow morning.”

Gayle, whose 215 against Zimbabwe is the highest score at the tournament, brings the experience of 268 one-day internationals to the West Indies side.

“He’s one of the most feared batsmen in world cricket,” Holder added. “So to have Chris on my squad is a plus for anybody in a sense.

“We won the last game without him so I can’t say we can’t win without him. He’s been a very good player for us over the years. But it’s shown that we’ve got people to fit the bill.”

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum revealed his team had prepared for the match in anticipation of Gayle being fit to play.

“I don’t think it changes things too much because we expected him to play anyway,” McCullum said. “He’s obviously a world-class player and destructive on his day.

“The West Indies team are stacked with match-winners, not just Chris but many other guys in their line-up.”

Johnson Charles replaced Gayle against the UAE and scored an impressive 55.

Holder is looking for an aggressive but disciplined performance against unbeaten New Zealand in Wellington.

“People pretty much wrote us off at the beginning of the tournament. They didn’t expect us to get to the quarter-final stage and now we’re here,” he said.

“We’re just going out all guns blazing and giving it our all.

“New Zealand can be beaten. We beat them in the last series when we played them and no doubt we will be looking to beat them again.”

All-rounder Darren Sammy also believes the West Indies can shock the Black Caps with the pressure all on the home side.

“It’s a big occasion but we’re not going to be overwhelmed by it,” he said.

“We’ve played New Zealand in the quarter-finals of World Cups before. Yes, it was a T20 World Cup but when it came down to crunch time, we won.

“This time around it won’t be any different. It will be a full house rooting for New Zealand but we know within our group once we do the basics, the things we know we can do well, we’re unstoppable.” ?? ??

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