New Zealand concluded their disappointing T20 World Cup campaign in style as they swept aside Papua New Guinea, emerging seven-wicket victors in Trinidad. 

Lockie Ferguson starred for the Black Caps, becoming the first bowler at a men's T20 World Cup to bowl four maiden overs in a spell, claiming three wickets to dismiss their opponents for 78.

Trent Boult ended with figures of 2-14 after taking out Hiri Hiri and Norman Vanua in what could be his T20I for his nation, after declaring this World Cup would be his last in this format.

New Zealand started their chase shakily following the early loss of Finn Allen in the second ball of their reply, but Devon Conway's knock of 35 from 32 steadied the ship for Kane Williamson's side. 

Conway hit three sixes before falling to Semo Kamea, with Williamson and Daryl Mitchell on hand to secure a Black Caps win and end the tournament on a high after they exited a World Cup before the last four for the first time since 2014.

 

Data Debrief: Fantastic Ferguson dazzles 

Ferguson's hugely impressive display saw him also become the second bowler in T20Is to record four maiden overs.

The last to achieve that feat was Canada's Saad Bin Zafar, who took two wickets without conceding a run against Panama in a T20 World Cup Americas Region Qualifier in 2021.

 

Uganda captain Brian Masaba spoke of his pride after his "special" team overcame Papua New Guinea for their first ever T20 World Cup victory on Wednesday.

Uganda, who are making their first appearance at a major global event across any of cricket's three formats, were held to just 58 runs as they lost their Group C opener against Afghanistan earlier this week.

However, they bounced back in style in their second match, edging over the line in the 19th over for a three-wicket victory in Guyana.

Speaking after the match, Masaba – who finished with figures of 17-1 through four overs – said: "I'm super proud of this group of guys. They've put in the work, they've put in such a shift. 

"To get a win for their country at the World Cup is very, very special. There is no other way to say it – it's massive for Ugandan cricket.

"It has been quite a journey to make this happen. Getting to a World Cup was very special but this is even more special."

Papua New Guinea's total of 77 all out was their worst ever in the format, with Frank Nsubuga playing a starring role for Uganda by giving up just four runs from four overs.

That is the fewest allowed by a bowler through a full four overs at the T20 World Cup and the sixth fewest permitted in the format overall.

Papua New Guinea skipper Assad Vala, though, chose to focus on his own team's shortcomings with the bat.

"We had a lot of soft dismissals. I think anything just over 100 was a good score on that wicket, it was a challenging wicket to bat on," he said. 

"They bowled really well but a lot of soft dismissals from us put them on top. They never gave us any chance to get back into the game. So, credit to them as well."

West Indies only played at 60 to 70 per cent of their capabilities as they survived a scare to beat Papua New Guinea in their T20 World Cup opener, admits captain Rovman Powell.

The Windies followed the United States' lead in making a winning start on home soil on Sunday, though they were pushed close in a five-wicket win over the team ranked 20th in the world.

The co-hosts collapsed from 61-1 to 97-5 and needed 37 runs from their final 19 balls to reach their target of 137, but Andre Russell and Roston Chase combined to get them over the line.

They take on Uganda in their second match next Sunday before rounding off their Group C campaign against New Zealand and Afghanistan.

Powell knows they have work to do despite their victory, saying in his post-match interview: "Papua New Guinea's plans were simple, and they played some really good cricket. It is important to get two points in this tournament.

"Roston bowled pretty well, and to come out under pressure, with the way he played, it was what we needed. 

"We are 60 to 70 per cent there. We can be better in all three departments. Hopefully, we can correct that for the second game."

Chase was named Player of the Match after hitting an unbeaten 42 off 27 deliveries, and he insists Windies did not take Papua New Guinea lightly.

"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," he said.

"We started slowly but we had a chat at the halfway stage and the guys just wanted to rally and put our best foot forward."

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.

 

West Indies joined the United States in making a winning start to their home T20 World Cup campaign with a five-wicket victory over Papua New Guinea, though Andre Russell had to get them over the line after a major scare.

The two-time world champions made a terrific start after putting their opponents in to bat in Guyana as Romario Shepherd and Akeal Hosein accounted for Tony Ura and Lega Siaka within three overs.

However, Sese Bao steadied the ship for Papua New Guinea, smashing 50 runs off 48 deliveries including six fours and one maximum before Alzarri Joseph struck him middle and leg 17 overs in.

Kiplin Doriga was 27 not out as the visitors finished 136-8, and the Windies initially looked to be making smooth progress towards that target as Nicholas Pooran put on a 53-run partnership with Brandon King.

Papua New Guinea skipper Assad Vala then came up with two dismissals as the hosts collapsed from 61-1 to 97-5, nerves being frayed as they required 37 off 19 balls to win. 

However, star man Russell (15 off nine) supported Roston Chase (42 not out) as they got over the line with six deliveries to spare, avoiding a shock defeat in their Group C opener.

Data Debrief: Windies stop the rot… just

West Indies entered their home opener looking to improve on miserable performances at the last two T20 World Cups, having lost six of their last eight games at the tournament.

Russell ultimately came up with the goods both with ball (2-19) and bat as they got the job done, but more will be required when they face New Zealand and Afghanistan later in the pool. 

Two-time T20 World Cup winner Andre Russell delivered a stirring speech to his teammates on Saturday, just hours before their World Cup opener against Papua New Guinea in Guyana this Sunday morning. The 36-year-old all-rounder, fresh off his 2024 IPL title win with the Kolkata Knight Riders, shared his excitement and motivation with the squad, hoping to ignite a fire that would carry them through the tournament.

Russell’s words came after a significant moment in the team’s preparations: he was presented with his official playing kit by team captain Rovman Powell, who wished him the best of fortune during the competition. This gesture highlighted the respect and camaraderie within the team, setting the stage for Russell’s heartfelt address.

“I am super-excited to be a part of another World Cup and it’s my first time playing at home in a World Cup event, so I think it’s going to be big for all of us,” Russell began, his enthusiasm palpable. “It would mean so much to the Caribbean people and so much to us moving forward in our careers to win a home World Cup.”

Emphasizing the importance of the event, Russell continued, “It’s bigger than how we look at it but just leave everything out there. We know the conditions better than everyone else; that’s a big plus for us. I’m excited to be here and with this, we can show the world cricket is what we live for here in the Caribbean. And for all of us coming together, with so many playing first-class cricket here in the Caribbean, and we are the best 15, let’s not take that for granted.”

Russell’s message was one of unity and seizing the moment. “Let’s rock together and achieve something great,” he urged. “We have everything in this room, support staff, everything. Everyone is backing us. Let’s make it count.”

With such inspirational words from one of the team’s most experienced and successful players, the squad is undoubtedly motivated to make their mark in the tournament. As they face Papua New Guinea this morning, the Caribbean side will be looking to start their campaign with a strong performance, driven by the passion and determination that Russell embodies.

The stage is set, the players are ready, and the hopes of a region rest on their shoulders. With Russell’s rallying cry echoing in their ears, the team steps onto the field, ready to make history.

Match time for the West Indies/PNG match is 10:30 am Eastern Caribbean time/9:30 am in Jamaica.

Former West Indies head coach Phil Simmons says he is looking forward to being back in his homeland of Trinidad and Tobago while assisting Papua New Guinea through their ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup campaign in which they will rub shoulders with West Indies.

Simmons, 61, joins Oceania side as a specialist coach, and he will provide Papua New Guinea's head coach Tatenda Taibu with some added experience and knowledge of playing in Caribbean conditions during the June 1-29 showpiece, which will also see games being played in United States.

“My role here is as a consultant coach and how I put across my experience, not just playing in World Cups, but playing in the Caribbean and the things that we should be looking at to make sure we do it right in the Caribbean and especially the venues that we play at,” Simmons shared.

Having built a strong reputation working with international sides such as Zimbabwe, Ireland, and Afghanistan, Simmons, who has played the sport for 14 years and coached for a further 18 years, was pressed for time to spend in the Caribbean and, as such, welcomed the opportunity to spend some time in the twin island republic.

“It’s been a long time in the game. It’s always brilliant to come home, always brilliant to come back to any part of the West Indies you know how beautiful it is here. I’m looking forward to getting home, which is Trinidad. Having people come here, me getting back here, it’s always a great thing, it’s always something to look forward to," he declared.

Simmons, who recently joined the Papua New Guinea squad in their pre-World Cup training camp in St Kitts, expressed pleasure with what he has seen so far.

“Their energy is unbelievable. Their warm-ups alone, got me tired. The guys look like they have settled in really well. In training, we started to get out in the middle of their game, so they started on some of the things they have to do here in the Caribbean, and it’s nice to see the energy that’s among this squad," Simmons said.

“I’ve known the head coach [Taibu] for a long time, and he’s always been energetic. There is always a lot of energy, but the players seem to be pushing him where that is concerned, and so I like that atmosphere in the team, I like the liveliness in the team," he added.

Papua New Guinea will contest Group C alongside West Indies, Afghanistan, New Zealand, and Uganada. They will open against the Caribbean side on June 2, at the National Cricket Stadium in Guyana.

England made light work of Papua New Guinea, cruising to a 46-6 quarter-final victory in the Rugby League World Cup on Saturday.

Australia became the first team to make the final four with a 48-4 defeat of Lebanon on Friday and the tournament hosts also had little trouble in casting aside their last-eight opponents in Wigan.

Tommy Makinson was the star man, going over five times, matching Josh Adda-Carr's haul for Australia against Lebanon, while also adding 10 points with the boot.

With the Princess of Wales watching from the stands, England scored four tries in the first 27 minutes – Tom Burgess, Dom Young, Kallum Watkins and George Williams also going over.

Jimmy Ngutlik grabbed a consolation for Papua New Guinea midway through the second half, but the day belong to Makinson, and he fittingly crossed for his record-setting try late on, becoming the first England player to score five times in a World Cup match.

Emirates Stadium will be the venue for England's semi-final, with Tonga or Samoa their opponents.

Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz now know their opponents in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand after the draw on Saturday in New Zealand.

The Girlz have been drawn in Group F alongside powerhouses Brazil, France and either Taiwan, Panama, Paraguay or Papua New Guinea.

Brazil has been to nine World Cups with their best result being runners-up in 2007 while the French have been to five, most notably finishing fourth in 2011.

Jamaica will open their campaign against France on July 25 in Sydney before facing Chinese Taipei/Panama/Paraguay/Papua New Guinea on July 29 in Perth then battling Brazil on August 2 in Melbourne.

“Excitement,” was Reggae Girlz head coach Lorne Donaldson’s reaction when asked about the draw.

“It was a long day of anticipating. The draw itself was a draw with some exciting teams that play good football so we have to come out and try to match them.”

Jamaica was also drawn against Brazil in the 2019 World Cup, suffering a 0-3 loss in Grenoble.

“This is a totally different Brazil side. It’s a younger team with a different coach. Obviously, we have our work cut out against a fast, skillful Brazilian team so we have to be ready.”

Five years on from its last iteration - and a year after it was originally set to take place - the 2021 Rugby League World Cup kicks off this weekend when England face Samoa at St James' Park in Newcastle.

Shaun Wane's hosts will be one of 16 sides jockeying to be crowned the best national team on the planet, alongside holders Australia, world number one New Zealand and a host of other countries.

Set to run for just over a month, through to the final at Old Trafford on November 19, there are already plenty of narratives for what is shaping up to be one of the most enthralling tournaments the sport has ever seen.

With that in mind, Stats Perform is here to run down who will be gunning for the prize, who is likely to fall by the wayside - and who just might capture hearts and minds along the way.
 

The usual suspects

There have only been three nations who have ever laid their hands on the Paul Barriere Trophy - and you can expect the two of them in the competition this year to be in the mix once again.

Australia have won this tournament a record 11 times, and despite a dearth of international rugby for Mal Meninga's side since they last hoisted it aloft, the Kangaroos firmly remain the side to beat.

In Michael Maguire's New Zealand, they will likely face a familiar foe before the final.

Australia and New Zealand have been drawn in Group B and C respectively, meaning there is no path for them to meet in the showpiece game, despite being the two most highly fancied teams with the bookmakers coming into the tournament.

The Kiwis soundly underperformed in 2017, knocked out in the quarter-finals; here, they'll be desperate to make amends.

Fifty years of hurt

England have never won the Rugby League World Cup - or rather, as a solo nation, having been part of the Great Britain side that last won the Paul Barriere Trophy in 1972.

Preparations have been less than ideal for the hosts too, with a host of key faces - including Super League Grand Final-winning St Helens trio Jonny Lomax, Mark Percival and Alex Walmsley, plus Wigan Warriors back-rower Liam Farrell - all struck off from consideration through injury.

But that has opened the door for a slew of surprises, with Salford duo Marc Sneyd and Andy Ackers handed maiden call-ups alongside Australian-born loose-forward Victor Radley.

Throw in NRL young guns Dom Young and Herbie Farnworth, and there's plenty to be excited for. Could they upset the odds and end a half-century wait for glory on home turf?

The upstart crowd

Last time a World Cup took place, Samoa endured a dismal tournament, with a draw against a gutsy Scotland side their only positive mark of the competition.

Now, it is a different story - Matt Parish's side are stuffed to the gills with NRL superstars, including six of Penrith Panthers' Grand Final-winning squad.

They'll hope to follow in the footsteps of Tonga, who caused a shock five years ago with a remarkable run to the final four, where they then ran England close.

Both teams have taken maximum advantage of rugby league's chop-and-change eligibility rules, and are now credible dark horse contenders.

Perennial semi-finalists, Fiji - who knocked out New Zealand last time around - look as if they will be considerably off the pace of their Pacific rivals, but the Bati's roaring spirit means they are unlikely to go down without a fight.

Throw in Papua New Guinea and the Cook Islands, and the Southern Hemisphere will have plenty to boast about.
 

The rest of the pack

It won't be a lock-out from below the equator if England and the other nations in the tournament have their say.

Wales - coached by the eternal John Kear - Scotland and Ireland ensure a Home Nations lockout for the United Kingdom, while France and Italy bring continental flavour from Europe.

Lebanon, meanwhile, are led by a familiar face from across the rugby code divide - ex-Wallabies supremo Michael Cheika, who will juggle this tournament with his role in charge of the Argentina union national team.

Then there is the two teams making their World Cup debut - Greece and Jamaica.

The former hail from a nation where rugby league has fought to even be recognised as a sport, while the latter stunned the USA to achieve a tournament bow.

While neither team is expected to make a long run, they are sure to earn their fans over the coming weeks.

A century from Matthew Nandu and half-centuries from Shaqkere Parris and Kevin Wickham led West Indies U19s to a comprehensive victory of 169 runs over Papua New Guinea in the Plate Quarter-Final Round of the tournament of the ICC U19 World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago on Wednesday.

Nandu scored 128 as the West Indies made 317-6, their highest score of the tournament.

The 18-year-old Guyanese faced 134 balls and hit 15 fours and two sixes in his match-winning knock. He shared in an opening stand of 155 with Parris before the latter was dismissed by Rasan Kevau for 64 from 89 balls with eight fours and two sixes.

Teddy Bishop and Nandu took the score to 191 when Bishop was bowled by Patrick Nou for 15.

Wickham joined Nandu at the crease and together mounted a third-wicket stand of 107 that took the West Indies to 298 when the Caribbean youngsters suffered a late middle-order collapse.

The drama unfolded in the 49th over when Boio Ray removed Nandu with the second ball, Rivaldo Clarke first ball and then with the fifth ball of the over dismissed Jordan Johnson, who also failed to score.

It was left to Wickham, who remained unbeaten on 61, to take the West Indies past 300.

Ray finished with figures of 3-43 and was PNG’s best bowler.

Needing 318 for an unlikely victory, PNG were bowled out for 148 in 37.4 overs. Aue Oru top-scored with an unbeaten 27 while Peter Karoho contributed 21. Barnabas Maha made 15 as Nandu took 2-14, McKenny Clarke 2-34 and Isai Thorne (2-30) combined to destroy the PNG batting.

Bangladesh avoided an early exit after their shock opening-day defeat by Scotland, beating Oman by 26 runs despite a late wobble.

The team ranked sixth in the world were bowled out by Oman for 153 from the final ball of their innings, recording just eight wickets for 52 runs in the last seven overs.

Bangladesh had started well, with Mohammad Naim managing 64 runs from 50 balls and Shakib Al Hasan registering 42 from 29, but the team crumbled after the latter's exit.

Oman were unable to capitalise, however, collapsing late on themselves with five wickets from five overs and ending on 127-9, having been 81-2.

The day's early game saw Scotland survive a scare of their own to earn their second victory of the tournament and move within one win of qualifying for the Super 12s stage.

Scotland beat Papua New Guinea by 17 runs, making 165-9 as Richie Berrington hit a half-century that included three sixes – one being the longest of the tournament at 97metres – as well as six fours.

However, the 14th-ranked side in the world fell apart after he and Callum McLeod exited in the 19th over, seeing three wickets fall from the final three balls.

Papua New Guinea were bowled out for 148 in the last over, though, falling to their second defeat of the competition after losing to Oman in their opening match.

Chris Greaves produced an instrumental performance to help Scotland deal an early dent to Bangladesh's hopes of progressing to the T20 World Cup Super 12 with a shock win.

A Scotland victory appeared extremely unlikely when they were reduced to 53-6 having been put into bat in Muscat.

However, Greaves' 28-ball 45 helped Scotland rebuild their innings, as they reached 140-9, in an innings that saw Shakib Al Hasan become the leading wicket-taker in T20 internationals, with two dismissals taking him to 108.

And Greaves was similarly key with ball in hand, his 2-19 comprising the key wickets of Shakib and Mushfiqur Rahim.

Greaves broke up that duo's 47-run third-wicket partnership by removing Shakib for 20 and then benefited as Mushfiqur misjudged a scoop on 38 and lost his leg stump.

Brad Wheal (3-24) took a starring role from there, dismissing Nural Hasan (2) and Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah (23) in the space of four 19th-over deliveries.

Bangladesh were left needing 24 off the last over and that proved too steep a challenge as Scotland prevailed by six runs.

The day's earlier Group B game saw Oman cruise to a 10-wicket win over Papua New Guinea thanks in part to Jatinder Singh's 73.

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