West Indies (137/5) secure a 5-wicket victory against Papua New Guinea (136/8) in a close encounter

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West Indies, two-time champions, will start their 2024 T20 World Cup journey today on June 2. Their first match is against Papua New Guinea at the Providence Stadium in Guyana. The team, led by Rovman Powell, is looking to bounce back from their early exit in the 2022 T20 World Cup.

This will be the first match of the season for Papua New Guinea. They’ve had three wins and two losses in their last five games. The West Indies, also playing their first tournament game, have a better recent record with four wins and one loss.

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Squads:

Papua New Guinea
Squad: Tony Ura, Sese Bau, Assad Vala(c), Lega Siaka, Hiri Hiri, Hila Vare, Chad Soper, Kiplin Doriga(w), Alei Nao, Kabua Morea, Semo Kamea, Jack Gardner, John Kariko, Charles Amini, Norman Vanua

West Indies Squad: Brandon King, Johnson Charles(w), Roston Chase, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell(c), Shimron Hetmyer, Andre Russell, Romario Shepherd, Akeal Hosein, Gudakesh Motie, Alzarri Joseph, Shai Hope, Obed McCoy, Sherfane Rutherford, Shamar Joseph

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Guyana is historically one of the most spin friendly venues in the Caribbean. People may recall Shahid Afridi's 7-12 on this ground in 2013. After the 2022 ODI series between Bangladesh and West Indies, Tamim Iqbal said the pitch spun more than Mirpur.

That said efforts to improve the surface has meant greater balance between pace and spin in the last 2 years, but the T20I bowling average and economy rate still show a slight advantage to spin so 3 spinners should be considered.

WI may try to fit Roston Chase in who had a good series vs SA.

The forecast has looked grim unfortunately so we may not get a full game.
 
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You can see from the image there's an open terrace on one side so you gotta be mindful of the wind blowing across.
 
Confident Powell relishes the challenge of a home T20 World Cup

West Indies skipper Rovman Powell believed his side would provide entertainment for the home fans while aiming for an unprecedented third ICC Men’s T20 World Cup title.

Along with England, tournament co-hosts West Indies are the only side to win two ICC Men’s T20 World Cups in the history of the competition. Expectations are high from the Rovman Powell-led team, not just because they have the home advantage but also because the results have gone their way in the leadup to the event.

The 3-0 whitewash of South Africa was their latest triumph, but they have also defeated India and T20 World Cup defending champions England in recent months, besides garnering a win against Australia in Australia.

Skipper Powell was quietly confident ahead of the event, ready to embrace both the expectations and pressures of a home World Cup while also relishing the historic opportunity that beckons the side.

“I think it's a mixture of both [Challenge and expectation],” Powell said. “It's definitely a challenge. When you're playing in front of your home crowd, it can be good and it can be bad.

“But we're trying to look on the positive side of things and see that the fans will come out just anticipating, hoping that we'll play good cricket to entertain them.”

Powell reflected on his side’s rub of green, which has led to their elevation to the fourth spot on the ICC Men’s Team T20I Rankings prior to the event.

“And I think over the duration of the last 12 months or so, we have played some very good cricket right across the world. And such, that has improved our T20 rankings to being fourth in the world.

“It's a team that has confidence. It's a team that understands and know how to play T20 cricket. So hopefully, during the duration of this World Cup, we can show that.”

While big-hitting strokeplay and fiery pace has been a trademark of West Indian cricket for long, the side will be heavily dependent on its tweakers for success in this edition of the tournament. Given the slow and low nature of the surfaces in the Caribbean, Windies could feature three spinners in Gudakesh Motie, Akeal Hosein and Roston Chase.

All three have impressed in recent games, and Powell had high expectations of them in the event.

“I think I am very, very pleased at this moment to see that we have three quality spinners. Not often, our West Indies team has been selected with three quality spinners. So that is something that I'm very, very excited about.

“Times may come when they may not play. But to have them at our disposal is very, very important for us.”

The co-hosts kick off their campaign against Papua New Guinea. This will be the first meeting between the two sides.

PNG skipper Assad Valla was looking forward to playing against full member nations, whom he described as “one of the powers in cricket”.

Valla’s side featured in the 2021 T20 World Cup as well but the skipper believed that PNG had a more settled squad this time around.

“I think there's more experience in the team. The preparation has been different to the last one we went to, as it was held during the COVID.

"So, we didn't play any international cricket over 12 to 18 months and just going to the World Cup. But there's no excuses as the other teams went through the same phase as well.

“So, for us I think the experience we gained from that [tournament], having a different coaching staff. and I think having a more settled team than the one we had last time, so I'm really happy [with] the squad we have assembled for this tournament.”

Both West Indies and PNG are in Group C along with New Zealand, Afghanistan and Uganda.

ICC
 
After the recent World Cups, it refreshing to see a tournament that gives a spotlight to so many teams. In ODIs, I think its probably best not to take the number beyond 14. But T20 is the perfect format to give more spots to the associates. For a non-fan it is the perfect entry point into cricket as well.

Sure, West Indies might annihilate PNG. But the fact that players from PNG as well as countries like Uganda, Oman, Nepal are getting a chance to rub shoulders with the best is a big thing in itself. Besides the obvious opportunity to grow the game in all these countries.

Super excited for this tournament and all the matches.
 
What would teams like PNG, Canada, USA get when they're not even regularly playing cricket let alone playing against bigger non associate teams.

Most of the players in their teams are expats from Pak, Ind, SL etc;

This isn't a fair comparison on such teams when they're not playing against such teams but then get pitted against in such big high profile tournaments.
 
Conditions are currently dry thank god.

WI cannot underestimate anyone after the failures at the hands of Associates in 2022 and 2023. But they come into this in good form and with genuine competition for places.
 
- Average first innings score in Guyana is just 147
- The chasing team wins 70% of T20Is in Guyana
- Pooran's last three innings for WI or LSG: 61, 75, 75
- Morea took wickets in each of his last seven T20Is
 
West Indies vs Papua New Guinea, 2nd Match, Group C

Toss Update: West Indies have won the toss and have opted to field

Papua New Guinea (Playing XI): Tony Ura, Sese Bau, Assad Vala(c), Lega Siaka, Hiri Hiri, Charles Amini, Kiplin Doriga(w), Alei Nao, Chad Soper, Kabua Morea, John Kariko

West Indies (Playing XI): Johnson Charles, Brandon King, Roston Chase, Nicholas Pooran(w), Rovman Powell(c), Andre Russell, Romario Shepherd, Sherfane Rutherford, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Gudakesh Motie
 
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Chase starts ahead of Hope so WI will have a max of 12 overs of spin and a 6th bowling option.
 
Not sure Hetmyer should start. Has done nothing to justify his place. Rutherford probably deserves a go

Hope has been a good sheet anchor but Chase can do that and offer a bowling option as well.

A few questions to be answered for the Windies
 
West Indies vs Papua New Guinea, 2nd Match, Group C

Toss Update: West Indies have won the toss and have opted to field

Papua New Guinea (Playing XI): Tony Ura, Sese Bau, Assad Vala(c), Lega Siaka, Hiri Hiri, Charles Amini, Kiplin Doriga(w), Alei Nao, Chad Soper, Kabua Morea, John Kariko

West Indies (Playing XI): Johnson Charles, Brandon King, Roston Chase, Nicholas Pooran(w), Rovman Powell(c), Andre Russell, Romario Shepherd, Sherfane Rutherford, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Gudakesh Motie

Excellent lineup for Windies. The only question going forward would be whether they need to drop one batter for a pacer. Such a strong lineup.
 
Akeel Hossain looks good. Imad would be licking his lips
 
Non-serious point: I like these PNG names.

Tony Ura
Assad Vala
Hiri Hiri
 
Hiri Hiri commits harakiri and PNG going nowhere at 50-4.

Slow pitch and big boundaries not making it easy to accelerate.
 
PNG doing a lot better than I thought they would. 67/4 in 12 overs
 
Nice hits from Bau ! He looks like the PNG batter most likely to make an impact here.
 
Slightly slow wickets are always better. On quicker, even surfaces people will compain if this West Indies lineup smashes their way to 260 against PNG.

Then we will have threads asking for these pitches to be banned.

Slower pitches bring bowlers into the equation and reduces the gap between teams.
 
Really nice to see PNG building a proper local cricketing culture instead of the usual desi expat teams.

They have put up a respectable performance for their experience level.
 
Really nice to see PNG building a proper local cricketing culture instead of the usual desi expat teams.

They have put up a respectable performance for their experience level.
The less number of Desi Migrants/Students in a developing Cricket country, the better it is. If PNG was developed, lot of Indians and Pakistanis would be living, working there and usually would be preferred over the locals in National Cricket team..
 
West Indies vs Papua New Guinea, 2nd Match, Group C

INNINGS BREAK

PNG 136/8 (20 ov)
 
I had said in another thread that of the 20 teams in the tournament only PNG and Uganda would consider playing Azam Khan in their team.

I take that back now. Kipling Doriga is a proper hustler and has given a really good finish to the inns. PNG would never exchange him for Azam Khan
 
Spirited effort with the bat by PNG. Bowling is the West Indies' biggest weakness.
 
Never bowl hard lengths to Brandon King and don't bowl too much of that length in Caribbean anyway. Lengths have to be fuller.
 
Don’t see Afghanistan losing to WI , has to be Afghanistan who go through
 
Bright sunshine out now. I think PNG will really regret not reviewing the Pooran dismissal.
 
A single wicket maiden that could have been a double wicket maiden. Brilliant over from Nao.
 
If only that incompetent Rishad Riaz had given Pooran out lbw, this could have been a bit more interesting.
 
Until it happens to Pakistan. lol
Tbf bro, Shaheen, Babar, Rizwan, Imad and Fakhar as well as abrar assuming he plays will be too much for USA and Canada. Same with Rauf.

These boys are getting exposed against top sides.

Problem is if Bobby, fakhar and rizzu have an off day then gane over, Pakistan's lower order and fielding is the weakest in the tournament. Even PNG boys have a better lower order then shadab, Chacha and azam trio
 
What would teams like PNG, Canada, USA get when they're not even regularly playing cricket let alone playing against bigger non associate teams.

Most of the players in their teams are expats from Pak, Ind, SL etc;

This isn't a fair comparison on such teams when they're not playing against such teams but then get pitted against in such big high profile tournaments.
So what should they should do? Sit home and stop playing? How will they get better if they don't play against better teams?

Btw I hope you are watching this match.
 
Standard of the associate nations has improved so much now.
 
Papua New Guinea just need to hold their nerve. They could still pull of an amazing upset. The pressure is on West Indies at this point.
 
Recently the ODI World Cup qualifiers tournament was a competitive and good quality tournament and now this performance from PNG.

Give these guys a chance please ICC and force repeat offenders like Aus to fulfil their commitments
 
Tbf bro, Shaheen, Babar, Rizwan, Imad and Fakhar as well as abrar assuming he plays will be too much for USA and Canada. Same with Rauf.

These boys are getting exposed against top sides.

Problem is if Bobby, fakhar and rizzu have an off day then gane over, Pakistan's lower order and fielding is the weakest in the tournament. Even PNG boys have a better lower order then shadab, Chacha and azam trio
No, I was generally speaking. I mean everyone enjoys an associate nation beating a test playing nation until it happens against your country.

I don’t think any of these associate nation would be able to beat Pakistan on these pitches unless we are having a really bad day.
 
WI and Pakistan have 1 thing in common.

Both of them play right down to the level of their opposition.
 
Amazing from PNG. But Russell has come to the crease now. This is where the game will be won or lost for them.
 
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