The Financial Express

Scintillating Williamson guide New Zealand past 170

| Updated: November 14, 2021 21:47:08

Photo: ESPNcricinfo Photo: ESPNcricinfo

New Zealand have set a target of 173 runs for Australia to claim the trophy of the seventh edition of the ICC T20 World Cup. 

At the outset, having won the all-important toss at Dubai, Australia, as expected, elected to field first. The Aussies named the same squad while the Kiwis selected Tim Seifert replacing injured Devon Conway. 

New Zealand had a decent start as the opening pair - Martin Guptill and Daryl Mitchell - stitched a 28-run partnership before Josh Hazlewood got Australia the first breakthrough in the fourth over of the innings, removing Mitchell for 11 runs (8 balls). 

After that dismissal, runs started to dry up as the Blackcaps had only 32/1 on the board at the end of the powerplay. 

The pair in the middle - Guptill and Williamson - kept on batting at a pretty moderate pace as New Zealand were at 57/1 halfway through. 

However, as soon as the drinks break ended, Kane Williamson did just what the doctor ordered-- take on anyone that comes into the attack.

Mitchell Starc went for 19 runs in an over as the Kiwis made their intentions clear. In that eventful over, Hazlewood allowed Williamson a life as he dropped him at the fine-leg boundary. The Kiwi skipper was on 21 at that point.  

In the following over, Guptill (28 off 35) tried to replicate what his captain did in the previous over. However, he got caught in the deep as the second-highest wicket-taker of the tournament Adam Zampa added another one in his tally. 

Irrespective of whatever happened at the other end, Williamson continued in his merry way as he smacked back-to-back sixes off Maxwell to reach his half-century in just 32 balls. In the process, he became only the second captain to score 50+ in T20 WC Finals - only next to Kumar Sangakkara (64* vs Pakistan at Lord’s in 2009). 

The Kiwis were successful in capitalizing on the Aussies fifth-bowler weak link as they scored 39 runs in the four overs bowled by Maxwell and Marsh. New Zealand reached their hundred in 13.5 overs. 

Phillips joined the party in the fifteenth over as he struck Zampa for a four and a six. 

In the following over, Starc’s night went from bad to worse as Williamson scored 22 runs off that over. At the end of the sixteenth, New Zealand were 136/2 - all set for causing further damage in the last four overs. 

Pat Cummins pulled things back a little bit as he gave away only 8 runs in the seventeenth over. 

Hazlewood returned to the attack in the eighteenth and shifted the entire momentum into his team’s favour removing both Phillips (18 off 17) and Williamson (85 off 48) in the same over. 

The penultimate over from Cummins yielded 13 runs, courtesy of a six down the ground from Jimmy Neesham. 

Starc finished it off reasonably well conceding 10 runs in the final over as Seifert and Neesham remained unbeaten for 8 (6 balls) runs and 13 runs (7 balls) respectively. 

Josh Hazlewood was the pick of the bowlers for Australia with his spell of 3/16 in four overs. 

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