Williamson explains death overs call after Windies defeat

New Zealand suffered their second straight loss in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup after a Sherfane Rutherford special turned the game in West Indies’ favour.

From 76/7, Rutherford guided West Indies to 149/9 with his scintillating knock of 68*, which included six maximums.

Among the factors working in Rutherford’s favour was the fact that New Zealand captain Kane Williamson used his pacers earlier than expected to run through the West Indies lineup, but a failure to achieve that led to them being left with Daryl Mitchell and Mitchell Santner bowling the last two overs.

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“We knew that we needed to get Rutherford out and I think the batting depth of the West Indies side really shone through as beneficial for them, certainly today on that surface,” Williamson said after the defeat. “So, for us to try and take that wicket and try and have the opportunity to sort of restrict them in that 120 region, I think it [using up the pacers early] was worth doing but didn't quite pay off.

Calling the modern-day T20 cricket a game of “cat and mouse”, Williamson believed that inability to successfully execute this ploy left his side vulnerable to Rutherford’s fireworks in the final two overs.

“I think whatever overs that they [Mitchell and Santner] did bowl were going to be targeted and so that's the sort of the margins that you're always dealing with.

“I think, in T20 cricket nowadays with teams that are batting a lot deeper. And so, you're always trying to sort of play that game of cat and mouse, I suppose.”

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Rutherford arrived at the wicket within the Powerplay as the top-order collapsed. After taking some time to settle, the left-handed batsman boosted his innings from 21 runs in 22 balls at one stage to 68* runs off 39 balls by the end of the West Indies batting effort.

The New Zealand captain praised Rutherford’s calculated batting.

“From 90/7, whatever the West Indies were, to get to 150 was a fantastic effort and incredibly smart and calculated batting from Rutherford. To put a contribution like that up on that surface was world-class and really got them a strong total on that wicket.”

Williamson also lauded the efforts of the West Indies bowlers, who picked regular wickets to stifle the Kiwi chase.

“Having said that, it's half a match and we know that we need to do some tough work in that second innings and try and get an over or two that you can try and break the game open. We weren't able to do that.

“We knew it would be tough and I thought the guys fought hard. But the West Indies know these conditions well and they're playing good cricket and unfortunately, like I say, it wasn't to be today.”

New Zealand sit at the bottom of Group C, with no points in their kitty and a negative net run rate of -2.425.

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