Cricket: New name, same old Kane Williamson

By Andrew Alderson in Napier

Captain Kane Williamson posted 73 not out from 55 balls, his highest score in the international format. Photosport
Captain Kane Williamson posted 73 not out from 55 balls, his highest score in the international format. Photosport

The shirt name was misspelt 'Willamson', but the McLean Park crowd had no trouble identifying No.22 in New Zealand's opening six-wicket Twenty20 win over Bangladesh last night.

Captain Kane Williamson worked as the hosts' GPS, navigating them across tricky terrain to post 73 not out from 55 balls, his highest score in the international format.

As the cliché goes, there's no 'I' in team and, in an apparel sponsor gaffe, there was no second 'i' on Williamson's shirt as he complemented a collaborative Black Caps bowling and fielding effort with his willow.

"I just had to wear a shirt... it still felt the same," Williamson said.

His innings came after the hosts looked vulnerable, falling to 46 for three in the seventh over chasing 142.

The catalyst to the winning chase came in the 14th over when a Williamson slog sweep off Shakib Al Hasan scraped over deep mid-wicket's head for four.

"Yeah, I just chipped it over him," Williamson quipped.

Kane 'Willamson'. Photosport
Kane 'Willamson'. Photosport

"That's the nature of T20, you have to take those risks. You're always weighing up the situation, looking at what you need and which bowlers you can target."

Williamson supplemented the chip by clobbering a six whose only chance of being caught was by members of the corporate boxes. Twelve runs came off the over. A required run rate which had crept towards nine started dipping.

"We probably want to be smarter as we get into the format," Williamson said. "We lost wickets at times where we wanted to grab the momentum and push the game forward. That kept us in limbo."

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza said his opposite was the key difference: "We batted well in the last 10 overs and bowled well in the first 10 overs but Williamson, with the support of [Colin] de Grandhomme, finished it professionally."

True to character, Williamson deflected the praise to de Grandhomme. The Aucklander also made his highest T20I score, 41 not out off 22 balls, in an unbeaten fifth-wicket partnership of 81.

"The way Colin came out to finish it was extremely smart and a great contribution to get us across," Williamson said.

"The job with the ball [to restrict Bangladesh to 141-8] was [also] outstanding on a good surface with short boundaries square.

"Ben [Wheeler] swung the ball nicely at the top. We all know he's a good death bowler so those first three overs set the tone, then Lockie [Ferguson] came in and bowled fast which made life uncomfortable [for Bangladesh]."

Ferguson finished with figures of three for 32 and Wheeler two for 22 from their respective allotments. Both players were debuting in the format alongside Tom Bruce, who was run out for seven.

"It was unfortunate, I felt for Brucey," Williamson said. "He was fantastic in the field and confident with the bat but I slipped [going for two], looked up and thought 'oh no'."

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 27 Mar 2017 23:59:44 Processing Time: 551ms