2nd Match, Group C, Providence, June 02, 2024, ICC Men's T20 World Cup
(19/20 ov, T:137) 137/5

West Indies won by 5 wickets (with 6 balls remaining)

Player Of The Match
42* (27)
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Power-packed West Indies look to get past PNG - and the weather - in style

PNG have a lot of experience in their ranks, but might find the in-form West Indians tough to conquer

Ashish Pant

Match details

West Indies vs Papua New Guinea
June 2, Providence, 10.30am local; 2.30pm GMT; 8pm IST

Big picture - West Indies look to make early moves

Redemption will be on West Indies' agenda as they kick off the Caribbean leg of T20 World Cup 2024 against Papua New Guinea in Providence. They lifted the trophy in 2012 and 2016, but West Indies have had a torrid time at the last two editions. In 2021, they only managed one win in five matches to make a Super 12s exit. In 2022, they failed to even make it to the Super 12s, losing to Ireland and Scotland in the opening round.
Now, in home territory, with a team in form, West Indies will hope to return to their glory days. PNG might not appear as threatening as some of the other teams, but West Indies will have to start strong, even think of giving their net run-rate an early boost.
They are coming into the World Cup on the back of a 3-0 sweep over South Africa at home - though both teams were without many of their World Cuppers. But West Indies also beat Australia in their only warm-up game where they smashed 257 in their 20 overs. That's good portents.
Andre Russell boasts of a strike rate of 207.89 in T20s this year. He played his part in Kolkata Knight Riders' IPL title win last week. Nicholas Pooran finished as Lucknow Super Giants' second-highest run-getter at the IPL. Rovman Powell and Shimron Hetmyer both struck at strike rates in excess of 150 for Rajasthan Royals. Against South Africa, Gudakesh Motie was the highest wicket-taker while Brandon King was the highest run-scorer.
PNG, in their second appearance at the World Cup and the first since 2021, will want to make an impression, and upset some calculations. And they have the experience for it - ten of their members played in the 2021 edition; only four of their players are below 25. PNG are a pace-dominated side with only Charles Amini as a frontline spinner. But it's the veteran batters that they will look to - Assad Vala, Tony Ura, Lega Siaka, Sese Bau are all capable of turning it on, and West Indies will be aware of that.
A host nation has never won the men's T20 World Cup, and West Indies will hope to buck the trend this time. Starting right away.

Form guide

West Indies WWWWL (last five completed matches, most recent first)
Papua New Guinea LWWLW

In the spotlight - Nicholas Pooran and Charles Amini

Nicholas Pooran is coming into the tournament in fine six-hitting form. Since the start of 2023, no batter has hit more sixes in T20 cricket than Pooran's 154. He also has a strike rate of 167.45 in T20s this year. In the IPL, where the rest of his team's batters failed to get going, Pooran struck at 178.21 and then hit a 25-ball 75 with five fours and eight sixes against Australia two days back.
Charles Amini, PNG's primary spinner, is also a handy batter, and his all-round abilities will hold the key to his team's fortunes. Amini has the third-most runs for PNG in T20Is - 994 in 48 innings - though with a strike rate of just 118.61. He is also their second-highest wicket-taker with 47 wickets in 48 innings.

Team news

Johnson Charles and King had an excellent series against South Africa and are likely to open in the first game with Powell, Pooran, Hetmyer and Sherfane Rutherford forming the middle order. Russell and Akeal Hosein are likely to be the allrounders, while the Josephs, Alzarri and Shamar, should lead the pace attack.
West Indies (probable XI): 1 Johnson Charles, 2 Brandon King, 3 Nicholas Pooran (wk), 4 Rovman Powell (capt), 5 Shimron Hetmyer, 6 Sherfane Rutherford, 7 Andre Russell, 8 Akeal Hosein, 9 Alzarri Joseph, 10 Shamar Joseph, 11 Gudakesh Motie
Ura, PNG's highest-run scorer in T20Is, will be the backbone of their batting unit along with Vala and Amini. Norman Vanua, their highest wicket-taker in the format, is expected to lead the fast-bowling unit alongside Chad Soper, while John Kariko, PNG's highest wicket-taker in T20Is since the start of 2023, will be Amini's spin-bowling partner.
PNG (probable XI): 1 Tony Ura, 2 Sese Bau, 3 Assad Vala (capt), 4 Lega Siaka, 5 Charles Amini, 6 Hiri Hiri, 7 Kiplin Doriga (wk), 8 Norman Vanua, 9 Alei Nao, 10, John Kariko, 11 Chad Soper

Stats that matter

  • Pooran has hit the most sixes in T20 cricket in 2024 - 77 - and he is fifth on the list for most runs in T20 cricket this year - 993
  • Russell's strike rate of 207.89 in T20 cricket this year is the highest for any batter who has faced more than 75 balls
  • Obed McCoy has picked up 36 wickets in T20 cricket this year, the fourth-highest
  • Ura is the only PNG batter to have scored a century in T20Is
  • Kariko is PNG's highest wicket-taker in T20Is since the start of 2023 - 25 in 16 games

Pitch and conditions

The average first-innings score at Providence in T20 games since the start of 2022 is 168 with teams happier to bat second. In 24 T20 games here since 2022, captains have opted to field in 16 outings. But, it has not always translated into wins. Teams batting first have scored 11 wins out of 24 while 12 have been won by the teams batting second. One game was washed out. Spinners have been dominant here, going at an economy of 6.94 in those games. But all of that will become relevant if the weather holds up. There are chances of showers and even a thunderstorm early in the day.


"If Andre Russell rocks up for any international team, you would definitely slot him within the team. That is no surprise to see Andre automatically slot into our team. He comes with a wealth of experience and the good thing is he comes with additional confidence on the back of good performances in the IPL. We are definitely looking forward to Andre Russell being a significant part of our World Cup and hopefully, he can be a three-time World Cup champion after this."
West Indies captain Rovman Powell expects big things from Andre Russell
"It means a lot to be playing amongst the best 20 teams in the world. We are going into games trying to win. We just don't want to go out there and play for the sake of playing. We are here to play the best cricket we can and the brand of cricket we know we can play."
PNG captain Assad Vala says his team isn't here just to make up the numbers

Ashish Pant is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo

Win Probability
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Over 19 • WI 137/5

West Indies won by 5 wickets (with 6 balls remaining)
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