Windies Knock PNG Out of 2018 Qualifiers
Windies Knock PNG Out of 2018 Qualifiers, CricketHighlights
by Kristina Newsam, MyCricketHighlights Writer
West Indies got off to a shaky start against Papua New Guinea in their second match in the 2018 ICC World Cup Qualifier, as the absence of Chris Gayle from their line-up, and the quick dismissal of typically reliable opener, Evin Lewis, put their fate on the line against an opponent who looked sure to prove the uncontainable resilience of the underdog.
PNG Start Off Cautiously
PNG had their runs evenly spread amongst their batsmen, with four players managing to make at minimum, 35 runs. Skipper, Assad Vala, topped the scoring with 57 runs, while opener, Tony Ura, made a stable 37. The lack of consistency amongst the remaining batsmen would eventually poke holes in the team's defense, with two ducks making their rude appearance to a party that was "run-invitation only".
Charles Amini and Mahuru Dai would each contribute 35 runs, to take PNG to 200 runs before they were finally bowled out.
The stage had been set for a possible upset, but the question of whether it would be enough to threaten the experienced West Indies team, would always linger.
Windies Lose 4 Quick Wickets
No sooner had the question been asked than PNG seemed bent on answering it in their own favour. They almost imediately put the Windies under overwhelming pressure, as Evin Lewis was sent packing after scoring just 8 runs in the second over, while Shimron Hetmeyer could not exceed the tally of his compatriot.
It was up to Shai Hope and captain, Jason Holder, to ensure that the upset was put out like the desperate end to a raging forest fire. Hope held his head down and batted out a patient test-like innings, with 49 off of 115 balls; while the skipper went even further with 99 off of 101 balls. Both batsmen held on without surrendering their wickets, effectively securing the chase and sending PNG straight out of the competition.