Kane Williamson Laments Rutherford’s Heroics As New Zealand Stare Down T20 World Cup Exit
By CricShots - Jun 13, 2024 4:06 pm
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New Zealand’s T20 World Cup dreams hang by a thread after a crushing 13-run defeat to the West Indies in Trinidad. Kane Williamson’s men now languish at the bottom of Group C, with only a monumental comeback offering a glimmer of hope for their Super 8 qualification.

Sherfane Rutherford
Sherfane Rutherford

The early stages of the match hinted at a different story. New Zealand’s pace attack unleashed a devastating spell with the new ball, reducing the Windies to a precarious 30 for 5. West Indies batsmen seemed utterly bewildered, leaving the Kiwis in apparent control of the game.

However, a sensational knock from 25-year-old Sherfane Rutherford shifted the momentum. He defied the New Zealand attack, smashing an unbeaten 68 off just 39 deliveries to single-handedly propel the West Indies to a total of 149 runs. His innings proved to be the turning point of the match, much to Williamson’s disappointment.

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“We had an inkling it would be quite tricky if we hit an area and that proved to be the case,” admitted Kane Williamson during the post-match presentation. “The quality of Sherfane’s innings was the difference, incredibly impressive and quite frustrating for us.”

Kane Williamson
Kane Williamson

He further acknowledged the West Indies’ batting depth as a critical factor. “The batting depth from their side was quite beneficial,” he stated. “We took the aggressive option to take the wicket and T20 is a game of small margins and unfortunately did not work out that way.”

One decision that raised eyebrows was handing the final over of the first innings to Mitchell Santner. His struggles in the over, conceding 18 runs, seemingly gifted valuable momentum to the West Indies. Williamson, however, defended his choice, citing the importance of embracing small margins.

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“We know that and we have full trust in that, the guys did that well in the first 12 overs,” he explained. “But as I said it’s small margins and two, three balls in an over can go big and the score can be above par. You get the prep and do what you can. Conditions here are what they are and we can’t make excuses.”

With their backs against the wall, New Zealand faces a near-impossible task. They will need a series of extraordinary results to salvage their World Cup campaign. Captain Williamson will have to rally his troops and find a way to overcome this major setback.