New Zealand have successfully completed yet another victory in the ongoing ICC World Cup 2019 extravaganza. In the 29th match of the exciting tournament, the Kiwis registered a fighting five-run victory over the Windies in a sensational nail-biting contest at the Old Trafford, Manchester. New Zealand reached an imposing first innings total on the back of skipper Kane Williamson’s brilliant century knock and Ross Taylor’s impressive fifty.
In the second innings, Chris Gayle and Shimron Hetmyer got Windies off to a great start before a great collapse almost drowned them. Carlos Brathwaite came as a saviour then and played a breathtaking innings to take the game very close only to fall before crossing the final hurdle. With this victory, New Zealand have maintained their unbeaten run and are now at the top of the points table.
Williamson’s fabulous century propel New Zealand to 291
After losing the toss and being asked to bat first, New Zealand got off to a horrendous start at the top as both their openers, Martin Guptill and Colin Munro, were sent back to the pavilion quite early in the innings. The experienced duo of skipper Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor then joined hands to bail their team out of the troublesome situation. The pair showed great amount of composure and temperament to compile a fabulous partnership of 160 runs before Taylor got out for a 95-ball 69.
Even after losing his partner, Williamson kept playing his natural game, notching up brilliant successive World Cup tons. After raising his hundred, Williamson started playing in an attacking mode, composing a sensational innings of 148 runs off 154 balls. Towards the end, Colin de Grandhomme and James Neesham smashed vital cameos to help New Zealand finish with 291 runs on the board. For the Windies, Sheldon Cottrell bowled really well to pick up four crucial wickets with an impressive economy.
Kiwis survive the belligerent Brathwaite-Massacre
The Windies too got off to a disappointing start, losing two key scalps in the form of Shai Hope and Nicholas Pooran with just 20 runs on the scoreboard. The pair of Chris Gayle and Shimron Hetmyer then led the recovery with a brilliant partnership of 122 runs for the third wicket. Both Hetmyer and Gayle stroked their respective half-centuries, however, just when things were looking good for the Windies, a dramatic batting collapse took place. Hetmyer’s dismissal in the 23rd over triggered a remarkable batting collapse as the Windies lost five wickets for just 22 runs.
Carlos Brathwaite then came on the crease and started the resurrection work from one end. He smacked the Kiwi bowlers like anything in almost all parts of the ground and also brought up his maiden ODI hundred during the process. Brathwaite racked up a staggering innings of 101 runs off just 82 balls that included of nine fours and five sixes, to take the Windies mighty close in the run-chase.
However, in a sigh ending, Trent Boult took a stunning catch near the boundary line to end a phenomenal innings and in turn helped the Kiwis pick up a remarkable win. Boult was also the pick of the Kiwi bowlers, claiming four crucial wickets, while Lockie Ferguson also bowled well to pick up three vital scalps.
New Zealand: 291/8 in 50 overs (Kane Williamson-148, Ross Taylor-69; Sheldon Cottrell 4/56)
Windies: 286/10 in 49 overs (Carlos Brathwaite-101, Chris Gayle-87, Shimron Hetmyer-54; Trent Boult 4/30, Lockie Ferguson 3/59)
Result: New Zealand won the match by 5 runs.