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T20 World Cup 2024: West Indies beat PNG by 5-wickets courtesy Roston Chase and Andre Russell

In a gripping encounter at Providence Stadium, Roston Chase and Andre Russell rescued the West Indies from a potential upset, securing a five-wicket win over Papua New Guinea (PNG) in the ongoing T20 World Cup. Despite the pitch favoring pacers and spinners, the West Indies managed to chase down the modest target of 137, thanks to the late heroics of Chase and Russell.

PNG’s Innings: A Balanced Performance

After winning the toss and electing to bowl, West Indies started strong with a clinical performance from their bowlers. Left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein set the tone in the first over, conceding just a single and exploiting the turn on offer. Romario Shepherd capitalized on the early pressure, removing Tony Ura for 2 with an outside edge in the second over.

Hosein continued his impressive spell by dismissing Lega Siaka on the first ball of the third over. PNG found themselves at 2/2, needing a partnership to stabilize their innings. Sese Bau and captain Assad Vala stepped up, with Vala hitting a six over extra cover to ease some pressure.

Vala’s aggressive approach yielded 21 runs before he was caught brilliantly by Chase off Alzarri Joseph’s bowling in the final over of the powerplay. Bau remained steadfast, anchoring the innings and finding boundaries whenever possible. His partnership with Charles Amini, worth 44 runs, was crucial in pushing PNG’s score.

Bau reached his fifty with a single in the 16th over, but his innings ended shortly after when Joseph bowled him with a slower off-cutter. Chad Soper (10) and Kiplin Doriga (27*) provided valuable runs at the end, guiding PNG to a respectable total of 136/8.

West Indies’ Chase: A Roller-Coaster Ride

Chasing 137, the West Indies had a shaky start. Brandon King launched an early assault but lost his opening partner, Johnson Charles, for a golden duck to Alei Nao. Nicholas Pooran narrowly avoided a similar fate, with PNG opting not to review a close LBW call that replays later showed would have been out.

After a rain delay, Pooran and King forged a 53-run partnership, putting West Indies in a commanding position. However, PNG struck back quickly, with John Kariko and captain Assad Vala dismissing Pooran (27) and King (34) in successive overs, respectively.

With the momentum swinging back to PNG, the West Indies found themselves struggling. Skipper Rovman Powell (15) and Sherfane Rutherford (2) were dismissed cheaply, leaving West Indies needing more than ten runs per over in the final four overs.

Roston Chase and Andre Russell then took center stage, turning the tide with a series of powerful hits. Chase remained composed, scoring an unbeaten 42 off 29 balls, including crucial boundaries that eased the pressure. Russell, known for his big-hitting prowess, supported Chase with a vital 15*.

Chase sealed the victory in the 19th over with back-to-back boundaries, and Russell struck the winning run, ensuring a five-wicket win for the West Indies.

“Can Be Better in All Three Departments”: Rovman Powell After WI Survive PNG Scare to Win T20 World Cup Opener

After the match, Powell acknowledged PNG’s commendable performance. “Credit has to be given to PNG. I think their plans were simple and they played good cricket. I think (PNG’s score of 136 for 8) it’s a little, 10 or 15, too much. And as a bowling group that’s something we need to work on. They played smartly,” Powell said during the post-match presentation.

Powell pointed out that his bowlers conceded too many runs towards the end of PNG’s innings. Alzarri Joseph, despite taking two wickets, was costly, conceding two boundaries in the final over. Gudakesh Motie also struggled to maintain control compared to his fellow spinners.

Powell lauded Chase’s performance, saying, “That was very good. Started from a bowling effort, I think he bowled pretty well. And coming at the end, when we were under pressure, coming there with composure, and to come out with a winning innings was great for us. I think we can be better in all three departments.”

Full Scorecard:

Brief Score:

  • Papua New Guinea 136/8 (Sese Bau 50, Kiplin Doriga 27*; Andre Russell 2-19, Alzarri Joseph 2-24)
  • West Indies 137/5 (Roston Chase 42*, Brandon King 34; Assad Vala 2-28).

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