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Eng vs NZ T20 World Cup 2022 – Kane Williamson is ‘gold’ at No.3

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Glenn Phillips and Mitchell Santner have thrown their weight behind struggling captain Kane Williamson, backing him to get good “at some point”. Williamson’s performance came under scrutiny after New Zealand lost to England by 20 points in Brisbane. The New Zealand captain faced 40 balls and scored as many points, bringing his total at this World Cup to 71 out of 76; not once during that time did he hit better than a run-a-ball in any innings.
The length of time he was in the crease on Tuesday – the most balls he has faced in a T20I since the 2021 T20 World Cup final – only further underscored how badly the pursuit was hobbled by a batter who was struggling to keep up with the requested pace. He only hit three boundaries, especially struggling to keep slower bowlers away, as he has done for most of the year.

It also highlighted the difference in approach England and New Zealand have taken to pacing their innings. While Dawid Malan was used as a floater when England realized they needed more power – he eventually got to No 8 – Williamson hit at No 3. Asked rate soared to just a bit under 12 when Williamson was sent off at 15th.

That he was still in contact was largely thanks to Phillips’ 62 of 36 and he resolutely supported his captain. “Kane’s gold three for us,” he said. “He understands situations and I know he had a bit of a tough day today. But with his experience, the ability to take a game deep and command the middle is crucial. To be able to get me, [James] Neesham, Daryl [Mitchell]as good as [Mitchell] Santner playing our part at the end, Kane doing what he’s doing right now. We know he’s going to be successful at some point, he always does and we can’t necessarily judge him by one game. England played very well against him and they closed his areas. Next game he could very easily get 50 out of 20, so we fully support him.”

Santner, too, explained how England played more than any difficulties Williamson might have had.

“I think that’s the way England played bowling,” he said. “They played really well in the middle there. The spinners played really well against Kane. If you look at the partnership, Glenn was doing pretty well and Kane was playing the anchor. We got into a good position five or six, and I think there were some quality overs from Sam Curran and Chris Woakes that took it away from us in the end.

“But I think the English spinners did a great job too. They had three. I thought Mo [Moeen Ali] probably could have played a few more overs after watching that first one. I think they’ve adapted quite well to the surface, a lot of cutters in it.”

Phillips also suggested that the pace of innings could have been planned in advance as part of the style in which New Zealand play T20I cricket. “We try to stick to our batting plan as we go,” he said. “We had the wickets in hand to try and do that, but obviously the Gabba is a big ground and it’s not exactly like you can target just one end.

“Even the short end is still around 70 yards, so it takes a lot of effort and, and you need a lot of things to be able to chase whatever was on the last seven overs. Unfortunately, that didn’t not been the case. “We did not follow our path today. We did our best but the credit goes to England bowlers for the way they played it to the death. They took him out of our strike zones.”

Santner, however, admitted that New Zealand may have charged too much, even though the wicket was slower than New Zealand expected. “We kind of left it late but we had wickets in hand to try and get a jump at the end. I think Neesham and a few others were sent off and it kind of got away from us.

“I think if you look at the position we found ourselves in, it was a good position. I guess the run rate could have been 12 seconds, but we still had a few wickets in the tank. But I think that credit goes to the way England played there at the end Woakes and Sam Curran made it difficult to score, and if you can knock out the wickets at the end that kind of slows the momentum .

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