West Indies overcome plucky Papua New Guinea

West Indies were tested before overcoming Papua New Guinea by five wickets in their first match of the International Cricket Council Men’s T20 World Cup on Sunday.

Chasing a hardly daunting target of 137, West Indies required the level heads of Roston Chase and Andre Russell to prevail with one over remaining at the Guyana National Stadium.

When Chase and Russell came together at 97 for five after 16 overs, the match was in the balance with 40 runs required from the last four overs to beat the ICC associates.

Chase, batting at No. 4, made an unbeaten 42 off 27 balls to claim the Man-of-the-Match award and Russell weighed in with 15 not out from nine balls in their match winning partnership.

Roston Chase driving through the off-side during his unbeaten 42. (CWI Media Picture)

West Indies, seeking to become the first team to win the T20 World Cup three times, appeared to be comfortably cruising at 61 for one after eight overs, but the wickets of opener Brandon King (34 of 29 balls) and Nicholas Pooran (27 from 27 balls) in the space of two runs and the further scalps of captain Rovman Powell and Sherfane Rutherford brought the match on even keel.

Papua New Guinea, sent in on a slowish pitch, found the going tough early against left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein, who conceded just nine runs while taking one wicket in his three overs.

Both Russell and fellow pacer Alazarri Joseph both grabbed two wickets, while Sese Bau’s 50 off 43 balls was the topscore for Papua New Guinea. (HG)

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