“we were under pressure” – Rovman Powell admits West Indies need improvement despite narrow win over Papua New Guinea

West Indies captain Rovman Powell acknowledged that his team has areas to improve following a less than convincing victory over Papua New Guinea (PNG) in their 2024 ICC T20 World Cup opener on Sunday.

The match, held at Providence Stadium, saw the West Indies narrowly reach their target, scoring 137-5 with six balls to spare after restricting PNG to 136-8.

The win was largely due to a mature 42 from 27 deliveries by Player of the Match Roston Chase, along with notable contributions of 33 from Brandon King and 27 from Nicholas Pooran.

Powell was candid about his team’s performance, giving credit to PNG for their strong showing.

“Credit has to be given to PNG. I think their plans were simple and they played good cricket. I think PNG’s score of 136 for 8 was a little, 10 or 15, too much. And as a bowling group, that’s something we need to work on. They played smartly,” he said.

He also praised Chase for his all-round contribution.

“That was very good. Started from a bowling effort, I think he bowled pretty well. And coming at the end, when we were under pressure, coming there with composure, and to come out with a winning innings was great for us. I think we can be better in all three departments,” Powell noted.

Chase, who was named Player of the Match for his unbeaten 42, expressed satisfaction with his performance and the team’s victory.

“I’m very pleased. To start the tournament with a win is always good. I had to take it home for the team, and I did it,” he said.

Reflecting on his strategy during the match, Chase said, “I knew from our first innings bowling, it was always hard for batsmen coming in to start. I gave myself time, backed myself. I’ve been putting in a lot of hard work so I just backed my preparation.”

Chase also acknowledged the efforts of Papua New Guinea.

“They’re not an A-list team, but we don’t want to take any team lightly in the World Cup. We came out with the mentality that we were playing Australia or India. We started slowly but we had a chat at the halfway stage and the guys just wanted to rally and put the best foot forward.”

The West Indies will look to address the issues highlighted by their captain as they prepare for their next match.

Powell’s candid reflection on the team’s performance indicates a commitment to improvement, with hopes of delivering a stronger showing in the upcoming games.

Despite the less than flawless victory, starting the tournament with a win provides a solid foundation for the West Indies.

With key players like Chase demonstrating resilience and maturity, the team aims to build on this performance and strive for excellence as they progress through the World Cup.

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