West Indies pushed to the limit by courageous PNG in their T20 World Cup opener | Cricket News


NEW DELHI: Co-hosts West Indies faced a stiff challenge from a dynamic Papua New Guinea team before securing a hard-fought five-wicket victory in their T20 World Cup opening in Georgetown on Sunday.
Despite losing their first four wickets for just 50 runs, PNG managed to post a respectable total of 136 for eight, courtesy of a left-handed half-century. Sese Bau (50 out of 43).
The double champions, with a powerful squad, should easily reach the modest target. However, PNG's average spinners and pacers made the hosts work hard to secure their victory on a slow surface.
Roston Chase (42* off 27) and Andre Russell (15* off 9) provided crucial rearguard action to guide West Indies home in 19 overs.

The West Indies innings was briefly interrupted by a 20-minute rain delay, but no over was lost.
As it happened
The passing shower arrived with the home side 8 for one in the second half and they could have been two down by the same score had right-arm pacer Alei Nao won a weight review against the dangerous Nicholas Pooran .

Earlier, PNG's innings was in disarray at 50 for four before Bau shared a vital 44-run partnership with Charles Amini (12) to steady the ship.
West Indies, anticipating their turn, selected three spinners and elected to field after winning the toss.
The spinners found help from the field in the first over, bowled by Akeal Hosein.
However, it was pacer Romario Shepherd who picked the first wicket as he had Tony Ura caught in the second over. The ball moved away, causing a thick edge from the batter.
Hosein got rid of Lega number three Siaka with an arm ball before Alzarri Joseph dismissed Vala (21 from 22 balls). Vala had a few hits in the cover region before being brilliantly caught by Roston Chase at backward point.
Vala's six over extra cover against spinner Chase in the previous over was one of the highlights of PNG's innings.
Bau then ensured that the odd boundary continued to appear as PNG attempted to consolidate its innings.
Bau, a left-hander like Vala, smashed left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie for a six and two fours to provide much-needed momentum to the innings.
After his departure, the associated nation did rather well to get closer to the 140 point mark.
(With inputs from PTI)



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