Home > 

West Indies Secure Gritty Win Over Papua New Guinea in T20 World Cup Opener

West Indies kicked off their ICC T20 World Cup 2024 campaign with a hard-fought five-wicket win over Papua New Guinea in Gayana on Sunday, June 2. The tournament co-hosts faced unexpected difficulties against the low-ranked PNG while chasing a modest 136-run target but eventually walked away with two crucial points.

Following a resounding victory over Australia in their final warm-up match, the Caribbean side entered the competition with high expectations from fans. However, the performance against PNG was far from their dominant showing against the Aussies. West Indies’ bowlers were the highlight, with Andre Russell and Alzarri Joseph each taking two wickets, curtailing PNG to a manageable 137/5 total.

Sese Bau was the standout performer for Papua New Guinea, top-scoring with 50 runs off 43 balls. This effort made him only the second PNG player to record a fifty in T20 World Cup history. Nevertheless, West Indies batters faced early struggles and lost their first three wickets, managing just 63 runs in the initial 10 overs.

But it was Roston Chase’s resilient innings of 42 not out off 27 balls that powered the Caribbean side to a tight victory with merely six balls to spare. Skipper Assad Vala was impressive for PNG, taking two wickets for 28 runs, while Alei Nao bagged one wicket for just nine runs in his initial two-over spell.

Earlier in the game, Romario Shepherd gave West Indies a splendid start, claiming the important wicket of Tony Ura in just the second over. The spinners, Akeal Hosein and Gudakesh Motie, both bowled economically and took a wicket each, maintaining the pressure on PNG’s batters.

Sese Bau, along with wicketkeeper Kiplin Doriga, added a crucial 44-run partnership for the fifth wicket, putting PNG on track for a competitive total. However, a late resurgence from West Indies’ bowlers restricted further run accumulation.

When it was West Indies’ turn to bat, they lost opener Johnson Charles in the second over, setting the tone for a closely-contested match. The in-form Nicholas Pooran, who had been expected to stabilize the innings, struggled notably, playing 16 dot balls and scoring 27 runs off 27 deliveries, which allowed PNG to keep the game balanced.

Spin all-rounder Roston Chase stood as the pillar for West Indies, navigating through the challenging circumstances.

Join Get ₹99!

. Together with Andre Russell, Chase put up an unbeaten 40-run partnership for the sixth wicket. His ability to rotate the strike and hit boundaries under pressure led the way to victory, earning him the Player of the Match award for his outstanding knock.

The victory wasn’t just a testament to West Indies’ depth and resilience but also highlighted areas needing improvement as they progress in the tournament. Nicholas Pooran’s subdued performance was a talking point, as the star batter will be expected to return to form in the upcoming matches.

Papua New Guinea, despite their loss, showcased resilience and some commendable individual performances, especially from Sese Bau and captain Assad Vala. Their ability to put one of the tournament favorites under significant pressure will serve as a confidence booster as they navigate the group stages.

Romario Shepherd’s initial breakthrough, combined with disciplined spells from spinners Hosein and Motie, laid the foundation for West Indies’ victory, demonstrating the strength and depth of their bowling attack.

For Papua New Guinea, the experience gathered from playing against high-caliber opponents will be invaluable. Kiplin Doriga’s stability and Sese Bau’s milestone fifty are positive takeaways as the team aims to build on these performances.

The match scorecards reveal a well-rounded contest with contributions from multiple players on both sides. Here are the playing XIs:

Papua New Guinea Playing XI: Tony Ura, Assad Vala (c), Sese Bau, Lega Siaka, Hiri Hiri, Charles Amini, Kiplin Doriga (wk), Alei Nao, Chad Soper, Kabua Morea, John Kariko.

West Indies Playing XI: Johnson Charles, Brandon King, Roston Chase, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Rovman Powell (c), Andre Russell, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Gudakesh Motie.

In their next match, West Indies will seek to build on this momentum while addressing the areas where they faltered. For Papua New Guinea, the focus will be on turning positive fragments into comprehensive performances to secure wins in the remaining fixtures. Both teams have shown flashes of brilliance, setting the stage for an exciting tournament ahead.

Stay tuned for more updates and in-depth analysis on the ICC T20 World Cup 2024 as teams battle for supremacy in the cricketing arena.