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The quality of Sherfane's innings was the difference: Williamson

Last updated on 13 Jun 2024 | 05:43 AM
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The quality of Sherfane's innings was the difference: Williamson

The West Indies were 77/7 at one stage but Sherfane Rutherford single-handedly took them to an above-par total

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson admitted that Sherfane Rutherford’s innings was the real difference between the two sides after losing to the West Indies by 13 runs at the Brian Lara Stadium on June 12 (Wednesday). With this and an 84-run defeat against Afghanistan in their previous game, the Black Caps are all but out of the 2024 T20 World Cup

New Zealand started their game on a pretty good note, reducing the West Indies to 77/7 by the end of 13 overs. However, that’s when Rutherford stood tall and delivered a masterclass. The left-hander smashed 68* off 39 deliveries and took the West Indies to 149/9. 

Trying to close out the innings, Williamson understandably finished Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson and James Neesham’s full quota by the 18th over and was left with Mitchell Santner and Daryl Mitchell for the final two overs. That’s when Rutherford decided to capitalise and scored 37 runs in that period. In the run chase, New Zealand could only manage 136/9.

“It was good, we had an inkling it would be quite tricky if we hit an area and that proved to be the case. The quality of Sherfane's innings was the difference, incredibly impressive and quite frustrating for us. The batting depth from their side was quite beneficial, we took the aggressive option to take the wicket and T20 is a game of small margins and unfortunately it did not work out that way,” said Williamson.

“The guys did well in the first 12 overs 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. Conditions here are what they are and we can't make excuses. We need to keep getting better and keep finding a way, 10-15 runs that can make a big difference.”

West Indies skipper Rovman Powell too heaped heavy praise on Rutherford and said his bowlers learned from what New Zealand did in the first innings. Alzarri Joseph took four wickets, while left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie finished with figures of 3/25. The likes of Andre Russell and Akeal Hosein were also amongst wickets. As a result, the hosts are now through to the Super 8s.

“I'm very happy, we found ourselves in some trouble and two guys went deep. We already discussed that somebody had to play a blinder, it was not an easy wicket. Sherfane's innings was fantastic and gave us confidence during the innings break,” said Powell.

“What the New Zealand bowlers tried to do well we tried to replicate. At the halfway mark we sat down and discussed trying to hit a hard length and our spinners to spin the ball. We have got to use what we have, we don't have fast bowlers like New Zealand. Credit to them (spinners) even with a wet ball, they did well.”

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