The most exciting game of the tournament so far, New Zealand beat South Africa in a last over finish. The Kiwis got over the line with just three balls to spare as they chased down 242 in what was a truncated game (49 overs a side). It was the New Zealand skipper, Kane Williamson who emerged as the star performer as he struck a fine hundred to lead his team to victory.
Williamson walked out to bat as early as the third over with New Zealand 12/1. He started fluently and was going really well as he reached 26 off 26 deliveries. However, a flurry of wickets not only pushed them back but also slowed down Williamson. The pitch was a two-paced one and run-scoring was not easy.
However, the New Zealand skipper was in for the grind and kept his team in the hunt. He batted long and deep as he shared a crucial 91-run stand with Colin de Grandhomme for the sixth wicket which put the team back on track. However, the game was more or less in balance throughout. But under pressure, the 28-year-old Kiwi No. 3 held his nerve to take the Kiwis over the line and remained unbeaten on 106. It was also his first World Cup century. Hence, it was a special knock.
Quality batting and so much to learn
Williamson’s patient, fighting knock didn’t just help the Blackcaps beat South Africa, but it also helped them regain the top spot on the points table. The New Zealand skipper received praise from all quarters including, his counterpart Faf du Plessis.
Former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi has been following the 2019 World Cup very closely and has been tweeting very often. He didn’t hide his emotions after Williamson’s superb hundred and termed him as a ‘genuine match-winner’. The former all-rounder also felt there’s a lot to learn from this innings.
“An innings from a genuine match winner! An innings under immense pressure from Kane Willamson, quality batting and so much for others to learn from,” Afridi tweeted.
An innings from a genuine match winner! An innings under immense pressure from Kane Willamson, quality batting and so much for others to learn from. https://t.co/hA8jZKZ3Gj— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) June 19, 2019