Papua New Guinea got close against the tournament co-hosts today in Guyana, but they were beaten by five wickets thanks to a crucial 42 from 27 balls from Roston Chase.

The home side won the toss and chose to bowl first at the national stadium, with Tony Ura out early in their innings after misjudging the swing and edging to the keeper, with Lega Siaka bowled second ball in the next over, beaten by the arm ball.

Asad Vala hit Roston Chase’s first delivery for six but Chase got revenge soon afterwards with an excellent diving catch to dismiss the PNG captain for 21. Number four Sese Bau managed to stay in for a while, bringing up his fifty from 42 balls before being bowled by Alzarri Joseph from the next ball he faced.

Kiplin Doriga played a late cameo, scoring an unbeaten 27 from 18 balls as the visitors added 37 from their last three overs to take their total to 136-8. A good recovery from a poor start, but at the interval it looked unlikely to be enough.

After eight runs came from the first over of the West Indies chase, Alei Nao had Johnson Charles lbw from the first ball he faced to start the second. Three deliveries later there was another lbw appeal with Nao bowling to Nicholas Pooran. PNG opted not to review it but replays showed that it would have been overturned if they had.

Rain then drove the players from the field, but the interruption was a brief one with Nao completing his wicket maiden when play resumed with no overs lost.

Brandon King and Nicholas Pooran added 53 before the latter holed out to Tony Ura for 27 from the first ball of the ninth over. Assad Vala brought himself on to bowl the tenth over and sent down a wicket-maiden, removing Brandon King for 34.

Four overs later Chad Soper had Rovman Powell caught behind before Vala had Sherfane Rutherford out in the same way shortly afterwards, leaving the West Indies on 97-5 and giving PNG hope.

That fifth wicket brought the dangerous Andre Russell to the crease though, and he promptly dispatched the fourth ball he faced for six, though that proved to be his only boundary.

The 18th over brought 18 runs, including a big straight six from Roston Chase, leaving the home team needing 13 from the last two overs. They needed just one of them with an Andre Russell single from the last ball of the 19th over securing the win. Roston Chase was their top scorer with a crucial 42 from 27 balls.

The result was closer than it had any right to be, and showed that Papua New Guinea certainly aren’t here to make up the numbers, and that the main hosts are vulnerable and certainly don’t have an easy path to the second stage with matches against New Zealand and Afghanistan still to come.

Before then though they have Uganda to play on Sunday, who are also the team PNG play in their next match, which will be on Thursday.