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

NEW DELHI: Co-hosts West Indies faced a tough challenge from a spirited Papua New Guinea side before securing a hard-fought five-wicket victory in their T20 World Cup opener 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, thanks to a gritty half-century from left-hander Sese Bau (50 off 43).
The two-time champions, boasting a power-packed lineup, were expected to chase down the modest target with ease. However, PNG’s spinners and medium pacers made the hosts work hard for their win on a slow surface.
Roston Chase (42* off 27) and Andre Russell (15* off 9) provided a crucial rearguard action to guide the West Indies home in 19 overs.

The West Indies’ innings was briefly interrupted by a 20-minute rain delay, but no overs were lost.
As It Happened
The passing shower arrived with the home team at 8 for one in the second over and they could have been two down at the same score had right-arm pacer Alei Nao won an lbw 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.
The West Indies, anticipating turn, selected three spinners and opted to field after winning the toss.
The spinners found assistance from the pitch as early as the first over, bowled by Akeal Hosein.
However, it was pacer Romario Shepherd who picked the first wicket by having Tony Ura caught behind in the second over of the game. The ball seamed away, inducing a thick edge from the batter.
Hosein got rid of number three Lega Siaka with an arm ball before Alzarri Joseph sent back Vala (21 off 22 balls). Vala came up with a couple of crisp hits in the cover region before being caught brilliantly by Roston Chase at backward point.
Vala’s six over extra cover off spinner Chase in the previous over was one of the highlights of PNG’s innings.
Bau then ensured that the odd boundary kept coming as PNG tried to consolidate their innings.
Bau, a leftie like Vala, smashed left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie for a six and couple of fours to give the innings much needed momentum.
After his departure, the associate nation did rather well to get close to the 140-run mark.
(With inputs from PTI)


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