Kane Williamson praises 'high class' performance

By David Leggat

Kane Williamson is well aware of the vagaries of the T20 game.

''Fickle'' he has called it more than once and to illustrate the point, consider the first two games against Pakistan.

The tourists' were well worth their 16-run win at Eden Park on Friday night; New Zealand rebounded with an emphatic 10-wicket victory, and a world record opening stand thrown into the bargain, at Seddon Park last night.

Captain Williamson - 72 off 48 balls - and Martin Guptill with 87 off 58, carried New Zealand to what transpired was an easy win, to set up an enticing decider in Wellington on Friday night, putting on 171.

That eclipsed by one run the old mark for highest T20 international stand for any wicket, previously held by South Africa's Graeme Smith and Loots Bosman against England in 2009.

"It's nice to achieve that," Williamson said of the record.

"But it's not something we set out to do. We set out to lay a platform and play to a game plan.

"If that happens it's nice, but more importantly we got across the line to set up a nice finish to the T20 series."

Williamson pointed out that the "fickle nature" of the T20 game "means a lot of aggressive shots, aggressive options and there tends to be a few more wickets".

He believed New Zealand's performance, firstly in restricting Pakistan to 168 for seven, and the making short work of what could have been a challenging target, was a high class allround performance.

New Zealand also clearly have a liking for Seddon Park in the shortest form.

It was their sixth T20 win in seven matches in Hamilton.

"Pakistan are a very good side. Friday night there were some good bits and some weren't so good, which resulted in us coming second," he said.

He had wanted to see improvements, and got them.

Left armer Mitchell McClenaghan led a generally tidy bowling effort, in which New Zealand tinkered and opened the innings with spinner Mitchell Santner - whose second ball, a half tracker was ominously plonked into the crowd by Mohammad Hafeez - and medium pacer Corey Anderson.

The days of the fastest bowlers automatically marking out their runups at the start of innings are long gone.

New Zealand are playing about with options with the world T20 planning in mind.

Anderson was better than his one over effort at Eden Park, which was his first international bowl since last May.

For the second time in three matches, there was no time in the middle for those below No 3 in the batting order. The opportunity they got, at Eden Park, was blown in an ordinary display.

Williamson's view?

"I guess you can't have everything. It's a tough question to answer.

"If you do things well, guys don't get a bat. But they'll be preparing and training for the next game just as normal and I'm sure they'll be ready to go (in Wellington)."

What he is enjoying is two series against strong, if distinctly different, opposition.

"In T20 you can win by a lot against anyone, and lose by a lot against anyone. We want to play our best game plan as consistently as we can and bring strong performances day in and day out.

"Eden Park wasn't our best performance, but it wasn't our worst.

"It looked great winning by 10 wickets but we're certainly not resting on anything."


SCOREBOARD


WAGONWHEEL


MANHATTAN

- NZ Herald

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