West Indies wins toss, elects to field against PNG in T20 World Cup


PROVIDENCE, Guyana (AP) — Co-host West Indies won the toss and elected to field against Papua New Guinea in the opening game of the Caribbean-leg of the Twenty20 World Cup on Sunday.

A rejuvenated West Indies is among the favorites to regain the title playing at home after dismal performances in the last two World Cups. West Indies, winner of the World Cups in 2012 and 2016, won only one game in 2021 and could not make it to the Super 12 stage in 2022 when it lost to Ireland and Scotland in the first round. No home team has ever won the World Cup.

West Indies is coming into the tournament on the back of a 3-0 series win at home against South Africa and also beat Australia in a warm-up game when it scored 257 runs.

Several West Indies players are in red-hot form with Andre Russell playing an important role in champions Kolkata Knight Riders’ season in the Indian Premier League. Nicholas Pooran got the second most runs for Lucknow Super Giants while captain Rovman Powell impressed with his strike rate above 150.

Papua New Guinea, playing at the World Cup for the second time, has the bulk of the players who competed at the 2021 World Cup. It will rely heavily on pace bowlers with vice-captain Charles Amini as its main spinner. PNG has brought in former West Indies player Phil Simmons as a specialist coach for the tournament.

New Zealand, Uganda and Afghanistan are the other teams in Group C from which two will advance to the second stage of the tournament.

On Saturday, Aaron Jones made an unbeaten 94 from 40 balls in an extraordinary display of power-hitting to lead the U.S. team to a seven-wicket win over historic rival Canada in the opening match of United States-leg of the event.

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Lineups:

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

Papua New Guinea: Tony Ura, Assad Vala (captain), Sese Bau, Hiri Hiri, Lega Siaka, Charles Amini, Kipling Doriga, Alei Nao, Chad Soper, Kabua Morea, John Kariko.

Umpires: Adrian Holdstock, South Africa, and Rashid Riaz, Pakistan.

TV Umpire: Ahsan Raza, Pakistan. Match referee: Andrew Pycroft, Zimbabwe.

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AP cricket: https://apnews.com/hub/cricket



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