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03-Jun-2024 00:40:00 GMT
WI v PNG - 2nd Match, Guyana

Chase seals West Indies jittery victory against spirited PNG

West Indies 137 for 5 (Chase 42*, Vala 2-28) beat Papua New Guinea 136 for 8 (Bau 50, Russell 2-19) by five wickets

Roston Chase and Andre Russell saved West Indies from an early upset by producing a boundary fest and sealing a 5-wicket win against Papua New Guinea in the ongoing T20 World Cup at the Providence Stadium on Sunday.

The pitch favoured pacers who relied on slower deliveries and spinners by offering a massive amount of spin.

Under such circumstances, the West Indies batter struggled to rotate the strike throughout the paltry chase of 137. Fans expected a quick win for the West Indies but PNG played their heart out and gave the co-hosts a run for their money.

The co-hosts on their home surface took on an approach of either finding the fence or negating the delivery for a dot ball.

Brandon King took four deliveries before launching an onslaught in the first over. Johnson Charles on the other hand, got trapped in front of the stumps by Alei Nao and walked back for a golden duck.

Nicholas Pooran avoided an early scare in the same over. Pooran misjudged Alei Nao's variation and got pinned in front of the wickets. PNG players appealed for an LBW but the umpire turned down the decision.

PNG decided to opt against taking the review and that turned out to be the game-changing moment of the match. The replay showed that the ball landed in line and crashed into the stumps. Rain halted the match for some time but after the resumption, the momentum was completely in favour of the Caribbean side.

The duo of Pooran and King forged a 53-run stand to put West Indies in complete control of the chase.

But PNG bounced back in a span of two overs, with John Kariko removing Pooran and captain Assad Vala picking up King's wicket.

Pooran struck run-a-ball 27 before losing his wicket. King racked up 34 off 29 deliveries before losing his wicket in the next over.

After losing two wickets in quick succession, the West Indies chase went completely off the rails as runs became scarce.

Skipper Rovman Powell (15) and Sherfane Rutherford (2) were back in the dugout without making much of an impact.

With more than ten runs per over needed in the final four overs, Roston Chase (42*) and Andre Russell (15*) pulled off a boundary fest to ease the nerves in the West Indies camp.

Chase provided the final blow in the 19th over with back-to-back boundaries. Russell took the winning run to seal a 5-wicket win.

Earlier in the innings, it was a clinical outing for the West Indies bowlers after they decided to bowl after winning the toss. With three spinners at his disposal, Powell decided to hand the ball to left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein to bowl in the powerplay.

In the first over of the match, Hosein enjoyed the amount of turn that was on offer and conceded just a single.

Romario Shepherd made most of the pressure and removed Tony Ura (2) by forcing out an outside edge.

Hosein castled Lega Siaka on the first ball of the third over with a seam-up delivery to put West Indies in complete control of the proceedings.

From that point, Sese Bau and PNG skipper Assad Vala tried to string up a partnership. They tried to brush off the pressure with Vala sending the ball into the stands over extra cover.

A tossed-up delivery followed by the sweet sound of timing saw the ball clear the rope with ease.

In the final over of the powerplay, Vala (21) tried to make the most of the situation. He managed to pull out two boundaries in the over before losing his wicket on the final ball of the powerplay.

Roston Chase caught a stunner and handed Alzarri Joseph his first wicket of the tournament.

Bau stayed on the crease and kept the scoreboard ticking by picking boundaries at every possible opportunity.

Wickets kept falling on the other end, but Bau didn't stop to find the fence on deliveries that fell in his hitting zone. His 44-run stand with Charles Amini was the driving force in PNG's total.

With a single on the first ball of the 16th over, Bau raised his bat for a fifty. His record-breaking time on the field came to an end after Joseph clipped the bails off the stumps with a slower off-cutter.

Chad Soper (10) and Kiplin Doriga (27*) played influential knocks towards the end which propelled PNG to 136/8.

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