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WC 19: Kane Williamson Star as New Zealand Register A Thriller Win

Carlos Brathwaite’s blistering century went in vain as New Zealand captain Kane Williamson smashed a hundred which helped the Kiwis to survive a scare of defeat to West Indies and led them to a 5-run victory on Saturday, June 22 at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester.

West Indies won the toss and opted to field first. Asked to bat first, New Zealand got a big blow as they lost their in-form opener Martin Guptill for a golden duck when Sheldon Cottrell trapped him before the stumps. Another mishap happened when Cottrell bowled another opener Munro in the same over for another golden duck.

The pressure fell upon Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor who started to resurrect the innings. Both steadied the ship with timely boundaries and over boundaries and rotated the strike pretty well. They reached the 50-run mark in the 15th over. They reached the 100-run mark in the 24th over. In the same over, both Williamson and Taylor scored the fifties as well.

After that, Kane took the charge and started accelerating the innings. Taylor, however, got out after scoring a 95-ball 69 with seven boundaries. Williamson, on the other hand, held the innings from the other end who smashed another ton in the 38th over with a boundary towards fine leg. They reached 200-run mark in the 41st over and Williamson was going strong.

Along with Williamson, James Neesham also added 41 runs before Williamson departed after scoring a blistering 148 with 14 boundaries and a six. Neesham scored 28 off 23 while Colin de Grandhomme and Mitchell Santner scored 16 (6) and 10 (5) respectively and took the side to a decent total of 291 after 50 overs. Sheldon Cottrell bagged 4 wickets while Carlos Brathwaite took 2 and Chris Gayle picked up 1 for West Indies.

While chasing, West Indies needed a flying start but they failed to do so. In-form Shai Hope who came to open the chase with Chris Gayle fell very cheaply when Trent Boult bowled him for mere 1. Another in-form batsman Nicholas Pooran too became the victim of Trent Boult.

The pressure fell upon Chris Gayle and Shimron Hetmyer to steady the ship. Both added 122 runs in 16 overs before Hetmyer was dismissed by Lockie Ferguson. Hetmyer got out after scoring a fifty who brought his half-century with a six over mid-wicket. His 54 came in 45 balls, including 8 fours and a six. Ferguson struck again in his next delivery when he dismissed captain Jason Holder for a golden duck.

Soon Chris Gayle followed him in the dugout and Trent Boult quickly removed Ashley Nurse and Evin Lewis which left West Indies struggling at 164/7. They would have bundled out within 180 or 200 but Carlos Brathwaite didn’t let it happen who not only steadied the ship with the tail-enders but took the side nearly the finish line.

Brathwaite added 47 runs with Kemar Roach at first and then 34 runs with Sheldon Cottrell. Later, Oshane Thomas faced only 4 balls with a score of 0 where Brathwaite single-handedly added 41 runs. He smashed 3 sixes and a four off Matt Henry and took the equation to 8 needed off 12 balls. He took 2 runs and completed his century in the penultimate over. He was nearly pulled off the chase when he smashed the final ball towards long-on. But a breathtaking catch by Boult at long-on dismissed Brathwaite as well as their hope of winning the game and New Zealand claimed a nail-biting 5-run win.

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