Williamson's New Zealand Nightmare: A Game of 'Cat and Mouse' in T20

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson's strategy of exhausting frontline pacers early backfired against West Indies, leading to a crucial defeat. Windies batter Sherfane Rutherford's exceptional inning sealed the fate for the Kiwis. With no points from two matches, New Zealand faces a tough battle ahead in Group C.

PTI | Tarouba | Updated: 13-06-2024 16:37 IST | Created: 13-06-2024 16:37 IST
Williamson's New Zealand Nightmare: A Game of 'Cat and Mouse' in T20
Kane Williamson

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson's strategic gamble to utilize his primary pacers early proved disastrous in their T20 match against West Indies. In a dramatic game, Williamson likened modern T20 cricket to a game of 'cat and mouse.'

Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson had their overs finished by the 18th, forcing Williamson to use medium pacer Daryl Mitchell and left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner in the critical 18th and 19th overs. West Indies' Sherfane Rutherford, delivering a stellar unbeaten 68 off 39 balls, capitalized on these overs, amassing 37 runs solely in these last three overs, which included four sixes. This late flourish pushed West Indies' total from a precarious 112 for 9 to 149 for 9, a score that New Zealand ultimately failed to chase, ending with 136 for 9.

At the post-match press conference, Williamson explained the rationale behind his strategy. 'We were always going to be targeted in those final overs no matter who bowled. It's the margins you deal with in T20 cricket,' he lamented. He aimed to take the final Windies wicket by deploying Boult and Ferguson earlier, hoping to limit the West Indies to around 120, but the plan misfired.

Williamson acknowledged Rutherford's brilliance. 'From 90/7 to 150 was a fantastic effort, showcasing smart and calculated batting on a challenging surface,' he said. The outcome leaves New Zealand at the bottom of Group C, with a net run rate of -2.42, needing wins against Uganda and Papua New Guinea to keep their slim hopes alive while relying on other results to go their way.

The West Indies have already secured a place in the Super Eight, and even victories in the next matches may not suffice for New Zealand if Afghanistan wins against PNG. Williamson concluded by emphasizing the tough road ahead, 'It's going to be a scrap, we need to win small moments and get matchups right to turn our fortunes around. It's been frustrating so far.'

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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