“Adjusting plans in real time is key” – Samuel Badree on West Indies’ batting performance against PNG

Two-time International Cricket Council (ICC) men’s T20 World Cup winner Samuel Badree says the 2024 World Cup co-hosts West Indies were dug out of a hole by a brilliant Roston Chase in their “underwhelming” five-wicket victory over Papua New Guinea (PNG) at Providence Stadium in Guyana on June 2.

Badree said the victory was far from convincing.

“It was an underwhelming performance from the hosts and one of the pre-tournament favorites,” Badree told. “Roston Chase dug them out of a very deep hole. But they will be happy with the two points.”

On the slow Providence wicket, the West Indies batsmen looked uncomfortable against the spin variation and gentle medium pace delivered by the PNG bowlers.

Right-arm medium pacer Alei Nao (one for nine) was a handful during the power play with his sideways movement, and trapped Johnson Charles lbw for a golden duck.

He also rapped star West Indies batsman Nicholas Pooran on the pads with a strong lbw shout early in his innings. PNG opted not to review the latter decision, which would have seen Pooran heading back to the pavilion.

“These players have played at this stadium for many years and understand how it plays. I think the lack of pace from PNG made it difficult for the West Indies. But yes, adaptability is important and adjusting plans in real time is key.”

Badree, who’s a member of the ICC’s commentary team for the June 1-29 tournament, commended the West Indies’ effort in both power play phases. He said the intensity and consistency of play cannot be restricted to the 12 power play overs, though.

“We gave too many away in the last five overs with the ball and when we batted we didn’t dominate as we should have,” he said.

“The bowling was outstanding for the first 15 overs or so – the spinners were clinical.”

With two teams advancing from the group phase of the tournament, he said the Caribbean team would have been reminded not to take any opponent for granted.

He said he would not make any changes for the team’s next game versus Uganda on June 8.

“Key lessons from the PNG game would be to be clinical all the way through the 40 overs and not underestimate any opposition. T20 is a fickle format.

“Credit has to be given to PNG as it was a spirited effort and they demonstrated an indomitable energy.”

Man of the Match winner Chase said the West Indies were not taking their opponents lightly, but he admitted to an undesirable start from the regional team.

“(PNG) are not an A-list team. They’re in the World Cup, so they deserve to be here. We came out with the mentality like we were playing an India or Australia.

“We started a bit slowly in terms of our intensity, but we had a chat at the halfway stage and the guys just wanted to rally and put their best foot forward to win the game.”

Chase said the pitch wasn’t the easiest to play freely on, but he took a pattern from the approach of the PNG batsmen and gave himself time in the middle.

“I obviously knew from our first-innings bowling it was always going to be hard for batsmen coming in to start. I just gave myself the best chance possible.

“I backed my skills, so when I got in I’d be able to get the ball away. The PNG batters took a while to get in, but once they got in they played their shots and it was easier.”

In an interview with Cricket West Indies (CWI) before last month’s 3-0 T20 series sweep against South Africa, Chase said he was confident of what he brought to the table, despite not being one of the renowned T20 players in the 15-man squad.

In the second match of the Proteas series at Sabina Park, Jamaica, Chase bagged the Man of the Match award when he rattled off an unbeaten 67 off 38 balls to notch his highest T20 international score.

This was then backed up by his timely knock of 42 to steer the Windies past PNG in what is hoped to be a successful World Cup campaign.

“To start the tournament with a win is always very good. I mean, I had to bring it home for the team and I did it,” Chase said. “I’ve been putting in a lot of hard work, so I just backed my preparation. I just have the confidence to bring it out in the games now and it’s working for me.”

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