New Zealand did not get a run in the first ten overs of the Australian bowling ball. But the team captain Ken Williamson’s unbeaten 65 off 46 balls finally stopped the Kiwis’ innings at 182 for 4 in the allotted 20 overs. Australia will need 183 runs to win the title for the first time.
Earlier, Williamson’s New Zealand lost the toss and elected to bat in the first title fight. Martin Guptill, who started with a four off Mitchell Starc in the second ball of the innings, seemed to make his presence known. Darren Mitchell, the hero of the semi-final against England, then hit a six off Glenn Maxwell in the first ball of the third over. At the end of three overs, New Zealand scored 23 runs without wickets.
Aussie wicketkeeper Matthew Wade dropped Guptill’s catch off Maxwell in the third over. However, in the next over, Wade cursed Joss Hazlewood’s ball. However, the victim was Darrell Mitchell. Darrell Mitchell returned with 11 runs off 6 balls and 1 six. New Zealand broke the opening pair by 26 runs.
New Zealand’s run rate slowed down after Darrell Mitchell was out. Guptill, who scored 23 runs in the first three overs, collected only 9 runs in the next three overs. At the end of 6 overs of Power Play, New Zealand’s run stood at 32 for 1. This is New Zealand’s lowest run in a power play.
New Zealand bowled 26 out of 48 balls till the eighth over of the innings. New Zealand’s boundary-drought came in the ninth over after the fourth over with the bat of captain Ken Williamson. Mitchell Marsh’s fourth and fifth balls in the ninth over hit two fours by Maren Williamson. Earlier, New Zealand did not get any four or six in 32 balls! New Zealand’s run in the second of Williamson’s two fours was also fifty.
The Kiwi dugout breathed a sigh of relief when Williamson hit 19 off four sixes in Mitchell Starc’s over. But Adam Jampa did not allow their joy to last long. Guptill was caught at the boundary while trying to blow him up. Before being out, he made 28 runs from 35 balls in 3 fours.
New Zealand reached the team’s century in the 14th over of the innings. But then the Kiwi batsmen seemed to ignite. Ken Williamson is the team’s biggest hope in disaster. Get the desired half-century in 32 balls.
Williamson dismissed Mitchell Starc, one of Australia’s best bowlers. Wide New Zealand captain over Starc in the 16th over. With the exception of the fourth ball, he hit the boundary with the remaining five balls. After four off the first two balls, Stark’s off-cutter in the third ball flew over the square leg boundary. The last two say two again four.
22 runs in the 16th over! With the help of his four-sixes, New Zealand crossed the 100-run mark in 14 overs and reached close to 150 runs in 16 overs.
Why did Williamson get close to his personal century after playing well? He returned to the dressing room with a catch to Steve Smith off Joss Hazlewood. However, before leaving the crease, he made only 75 runs from 46 balls.