Skipper Kane Williamson’s impactful knock of 148 runs eclipsed a stunning century from Carlos Brathwaite as New Zealand beat West Indies by five runs in a World Cup thriller at Old Trafford on Saturday. Chasing 292 to win, West Indies were all but defeated at 164/7. But Brathwaite’s remarkable hundred nearly saw the West Indies to incredible success in Edgbaston. The Men in Maroon suffered early blows as they lost Shai Hope and Nicholas Pooran in quick succession. Trent Boult bowled Hope (1) and returned to get Pooran (1) caught behind, reducing West Indies to 20/2.
Chris Gayle and Shimron Hetmyer rebuild the innings for West Indies, stitching a powerful 122-run stand for the third wicket. Lockie Ferguson got the breakthrough as he dismissed Hetmyer for 54 and on the next delivery of the same over got West Indies skipper Jason Holder caught behind for a duck.
In the 24th over, Colin de Grandhomme got rid of Gayle (87) and brought New Zealand back in the game. Boult returned and picked two more wickets – Ashley Nurse (1) and Evin Lewis (0) – in the 27th over, reducing West Indies to 164/7. Matt Henry picked his first wicket of the day in the name of Kemar Roach for 14 and Ferguson returned to dismiss Sheldon Cottrell for 15.
Brathwaite hammered Henry for 25 runs to inch closer to victory. The West Indies needed eight runs from just 12 balls. In the penultimate over, Brathwaite ran for double on the fourth ball off James Neesham to complete his century, however, on the last delivery of the second last over as Brathwaite tried to go for a six, he was caught by Boult at long-on which left the stadium in shocking silence and West Indies folded on 286.
Earlier, Williamson with his 148 off 154 dragged New Zealand to post 291/8 after sent in to bat first. The Kiwis suffered an early blow as they lost both their openers Martin Guptill and Colin Munro for a duck each in the first over of the match off Cottrell.
Ross Taylor and Williamson initially played safe, settled themselves and then went onto build a solid 160-run partnership for the third wicket. Gayle got the much-needed breakthrough for the West Indies as he dismissed Taylor for 69.
Tom Latham joined Williamson but could not stay for long as Cottrell caught and bowled the wicket-keeper batsman for 12, reducing New Zealand to 210/4. Cottrell got Williamson, who was two shy of 150, caught behind.
Towards the end, Neesham (28), Grandhomme (16) and Mitchell Santner (10) chipped in to drag New Zealand to a competitive total. For West Indies, Cottrell was the pick of the bowlers as he returned with figures of 4-56 in his 10 overs quota.
New Zealand will next take on Pakistan on June 26, while West Indies will meet India on June 27.
Brief scores: New Zealand 291/8 (K Williamson 148, R Taylor 69, S Cottrell 4-56) beat West Indies 286 (C Brathwaite 101, C Gayle 87, T Boult 4-30) by five runs.
(With Agency Inputs)