Ton-up Williamson revives New Zealand against West Indies


MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, June 22, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – Kane Williamson’s latest World Cup batting masterclass helped New Zealand recover from a woeful start to post a total of 291-8 against the West Indies on Saturday.

New Zealand were 7-2 inside the first over after fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell removed openers Martin Guptill and Colin Munro for golden ducks at Old Trafford.

But Williamson’s career-best 148 — his second successive World Cup hundred after a match-winning 106 not out against South Africa at Edgbaston on Wednesday — turned the tide.

The New Zealand captain received sound support from Ross Taylor (69) during a third-wicket stand of 160.

However, Cottrell helped leave the West Indies with a reachable target thanks to an impressive 4-56 in his maximum 10 overs, including the key wicket of Williamson.

He also held three catches and ran out dangerman Colin de Grandhomme (16).

Taylor gave his innings away when he could not clear Jason Holder at mid-off after chipping a catch off Chris Gayle, to leave New Zealand 167-3 in the 31st over.

But Williamson carried on in typically calm fashion.

He went to his 13th one-day international hundred with his eighth four when he pulled a loose delivery from fast bowler Kemar Roach.

He then hoisted Cottrell legside for the only six of his innings.

Williamson surpassed his previous best score in 137 ODI innings — 145 against South Africa in Kimberley in 2013 — before he fell skying Cottrell to wicket-keeper Shai Hope.

In all, Williamson faced 154 balls, including 14 fours and one six.

He has now scored 373 runs, including two hundreds, in four innings this World Cup at an average of 186.5.

Earlier, West Indies made a sensational start after Holder sent New Zealand, the 2015 losing finalists, into bat.

Cottrell was on target first ball with a delivery that thudded into the pads of Martin Guptill.

Umpire Ruchira Palliyaguruge initially said “not out” but the West Indies successfully reviewed the decision, with replays showing the ball would have hit leg stump.

Munro too fell first ball, beaten completely by another yorker that smashed into his stumps.

For the second time in the over Cottrell, still a serving member of the Jamaica Defence Force, greeted a wicket with his trademark military salute.

It was only the second occasion when both openers in a World Cup match had fallen for first-ball noughts, with Sri Lanka’s Lahiru Thirimanne and Tillakaratne Dilshan collecting golden ducks against Afghanistan in 2015.

Williamson and Taylor, however, repaired the damage in style for a New Zealand side who have yet to lose at this World Cup.

The West Indies were seventh in the 10-team round-robin group table before the start of Saturday’s matches and struggling to qualify for the semi-finals.