T20WC24: Chase: We went out like it was Australia; WI squeak past Papua New Guinea

The West Indies cricket team needed all of 19 overs to see off minnows Papua New Guinea today, as the Maroon Men started their 2026 ICC T20 World Cup campaign with an unconvincing win in Providence, Guyana.

West Indies captain Rovman Powell led his troops to a five-wicket triumph in the end, with six balls to spare. But he admitted that PNG’s total of 136 for 8 was a bit too generous by his bowlers.

West Indies allrounder Roston Chase (right) on the go during their five wicket win over Papua New Guinea in ICC T20 World Cup action in Guyana on 2 June 2024.
(Photo ICC)

“Credit has to be given to PNG,” said Powell, in the post-match press conference. “I think their plans were simple and they played good cricket.

“I think [PNG’s score was] 10 or 15 too much. And as a bowling group that’s something we need to work on. They played smartly.”

At the other end, Papua New Guinea captain Assad Vala, who scored 21 from 22 balls as an opener before returning to take 2 for 28 with the ball, was pleased with his team’s efforts.

“It was a competitive score but we believe we missed a trick towards the end,” said Vala. “Another 10 to 15 runs would have been nice. We’re really happy with the way we fought—we got wickets in key moments, but we couldn’t nail it at the end.”

The Papua New Guinea cricket team hope to show they deserve their place at the 2024 ICC T20 World Cup.

The game bowled off in front of a modest audience, with West Indies inserting PNG to bat. Powell, incidentally, opted to start without opener Shai Hope, rookie pacer Shamar Joseph and hometown favourite Shimron Hetmyer.

Allrounder Roston Chase, the eventual man of the match, said West Indies did not take their opponents lightly.

“They’re not an A-List team but we don’t want to take any team lightly in the World Cup,” he said. “We came out with the mentality that we were playing Australia or India. We started slowly but we had a chat at the halfway stage and the guys just wanted to rally and put the best foot forward.”

West Indies coach Daren Sammy (left) gets a visit from iconic Trinidad and Tobago calypsonian David Rudder on the eve of their opening ICC T20 World Cup affair against Papua New Guinea in Providence, Guyana.
Rudder’s timeless hit Rally Around The West Indies is the official West Indies cricket anthem.
(Photo CWI Media)

PNG were 57/4 after their first 10 overs. However, 37 runs from their last three overs saw the visitors put a fair total on the board.

West Indies were 63/3 halfway through their innings and needed 101 balls to get to 100 runs—just two balls less than Papua New Guinea.

And, in the end, Chase had to dig deep to see the hosts through with an unbeaten 42. He also contributed with the ball as, although wicketless, his four overs went for just 26 runs.

West Indies allrounder Roston Chase has become a fixture in the T20I team.
(Photo CWI Media)

“I think he bowled pretty well,” said Powell, “and at the end, when we were under pressure, coming there with composure [and] a winning innings was great for us.”

Chase said he was pleased with his performance and the fact that the West Indies started with a win.

“I had to take it home for the team, and I did it,” he said. “I knew from our first innings bowling, it was always hard for batsmen coming in to start. I gave myself time [and] backed myself.

“I’ve been putting in a lot of hard work, so I just backed my preparation.”

(From left) West Indies players Rovman Powell, Akeal Hosein and Romario Shepherd.
(Photo CWI Media)

(Summarised scores)

Papua New Guinea: 136/8 (20 overs) (Sese Bau 50, Kiplin Doriga 27*, Assad Vala 21; Andre Russell 2/19, Alzarri Joseph 2/34)

West Indies: 137/5 (20 overs) (Roston Chase 42*, Brandon King 34, Nicholas Pooran 27; Assad Vala 2/28).

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