Tuesday, 25 January, 2022

Williamson's 85 leads New Zealand to 172-4 in World Cup final

Williamson's 85 leads New Zealand to 172-4 in World Cup final

Kane Williamson played a captain's knock of 85 to guide New Zealand to a challenging 172 for four against Australia in the Twenty20 World Cup final on Sunday.

Williamson, who was dropped on 21, started cautiously but once settled took on the opposition bowling to reach his first half-century of the tournament.

He finished with 10 fours and three sixes in his 48-ball blitz to lift New Zealand from 57-1 in 10 overs after being invited to bat first.

The Kiwis initially struggled and lost Daryl Mitchell caught behind for 11 off pace bowler Josh Hazlewood who returned impressive figures of 3-16 from his four overs.

Australia's bowlers kept a tight leash after skipper Aaron Finch won a crucial toss at Dubai which has witnessed 11 wins out 12 matches in the tournament for the team batting second.

Opening batsman Martin Guptill failed to get quick runs despite his three boundaries and a 48-run second-wicket stand with Williamson.

Williamson survived a spill by Hazlewood in the deep with the ball popping out of the fielder's hand to find the boundary. Pace spearhead Mitchell Starc was the bowler.

The captain hit back with two more fours off left-arm quick Starc who was taken for 60 runs from his four overs, to get some momentum into the innings.

Adam Zampa sent Guptill trudging back to the dugout after the opener's 35-ball 28 but Williamson kept up the charge with two sixes off Glenn Maxwell.

Williamson again picked out Starc to smash four fours and one six in a 22-run 16th over and put on 68 with Glenn Phillips, who made 18.

Hazlewood returned in his final over to break the stand with Phillips' wicket and then got Williamson out with a leg-cutter.

Williamson's score was the joint highest in a T20 World Cup final with Marlon Samuels' 85 not out in the West Indies' title victory in the 2016 edition.

Both Australia and New Zealand are bidding for their maiden T20 World Cup crown.