ICC T20 World Cup notes

West Indies' Roston Chase plays a shot against Papua New Guinea during an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match at Guyana National Stadium in Providence, Guyana, Sunday, June 2, 2024.  - AP
West Indies' Roston Chase plays a shot against Papua New Guinea during an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match at Guyana National Stadium in Providence, Guyana, Sunday, June 2, 2024. - AP

AFTER a listless display in their first game, the West Indies cricket team came out with fire in their bellies to wipe away the Ugandans in their second.

Uganda had never played against a highly-rated International Cricket Council team before they met Zimbabwe in order to qualify for this T20 World Cup.

The West Indies, a team with vast knowledge and experience of what it’s like to enjoy the euphoria of victory, having won two T20 World Cup tournaments before, together with a history of success and failure in all formats of the sport, would be easily the strongest international opponent they had encountered.

West Indies spinner Akeal Hosein bowls against Uganda during an ICC Men's T20 World Cup match at Guyana National Stadium in Providence, Guyana on June 8, 2024. AP PHOTO -

The West Indians, on the other hand, approached their first game against Papua New Guinea with little passion, plus a casual attitude which does not augur well for international players. As a professional sportsman one should treat every encounter with an opponent, in all contests, regardless of their perceived strength or weaknesses, as a game of the utmost importance and expend every effort to win by all means.

However, WI batsmen did not show the prowess expected of them to score the under-par total of the Papuans of 136 for eight. PNG has no ratings; hence they were expected to be bowled out within 20 overs. So to say their score was surprising is putting it mildly. Indeed, what made it more puzzling was the nonchalance with which the chase was pursued.

At eight for one, the replay screen revealed that Nicholas Pooran, WI number three batsman, and one on whom they expect to be able to depend, not yet off the mark, was struck on the front leg, shin-high and he looked plumb in front.

Thankfully for the WI and Pooran, after a loud shout for lbw, the umpire’s verdict was negative. The replay showed he was palpably lbw, but there was no review, and the left-handed batsman went on to make an unconvincing 27 before he was out. Roston Chase has proven in the last couple of years that he is very adept at the limited-overs game, and his adjustment to the T20 version is even more commendable, as he shows an intelligent cricket brain. He must be a captain’s delight to have on the team. His batting outlook is sensible, his bowling is clever and his fielding is nimble.


I must honestly say that I never believed he would be able to adapt to the T20 format, as he seemed too limited a batsman, too straightforward a bowler and slow as a fielder. What a remarkable change he has made to his cricket, which is entirely due to his cricket acumen.

The mental alertness he has shown could be a boost to quite a few more West Indian cricketers. Cricket, being a game of mentality and how it is used, can change a mediocre cricketer into a first-class one and ensure that, with discipline added, one can move to the top of the class in the sport.

Then there is the amazing performance of Akeal Hosein, a hard trier who plays his cricket with determination. Ever since his captains began entrusting him with the new ball, much as Daren Ganga did with Samuel Badree in the Stanford days, Hosein has done well the majority of the time. He has now developed a gentle in-swinger to go along with his turning leg break, which makes him as dangerous as a leg-spinner with a googly in his armoury.

In this game against Uganda, his line and length were impeccable. This was so because the inexperience of the Africans of that type of bowling allowed him to challenge the batsmen with confidence.

In four overs, to dismiss three batsmen lbw, plus two bowled, in a World Cup game, is no mean feat – and at the cost of only 11 runs. This was a remarkable piece of bowling that crashed the pensive Ugandans to a total of 39 runs.

There was only one double-figure score of 13 not out, by number-nine batsman Juma Myiagi. Hosein should have the confidence at least to test the New Zealanders and the Afghans in their two remaining games.

West Indies will have to lift their game against those two remaining teams, which are the likely heavyweights of the group, based on reputation, like NZ, plus present form and confidence, like Afghanistan. Improvement in their batting mentality is a must if they are to win the group.


"ICC T20 World Cup notes"

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