Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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WI secure Super 8 spot

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Kiwis’ T20 World Cup campaign is all but over

Tarouba, June 13: Sherfane Rutherford smashed a career-best unbeaten half-century before pacer Alzarri Joseph and left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie ripped through the New Zealand line-up to steer West Indies into the T20 World Cup’s Super Eight stage with a 13-run win here.
Rutherford came up with the innings of his life, smashing half a dozen sixes and two fours for his 39-ball 68 to lift West Indies to 149 for 9 from 76 for 7 in 12.3 overs after New Zealand opted to bowl in a virtual knock-out Group C fixture.
In reply, West Indies restricted the Kiwis to 136 for 9 with Rutherford’s fellow Guyanese Motie returning with splendid figures of 3/25. Joseph turned up the heat lower down the order to become the wrecker-in-chief with his 4/19.With three wins in a row, the tournament co-hosts qualified for the Super Eight stage, while New Zealand’s hopes were all but over following back to back losses.They had earlier lost to Afghanistan by 84 runs after being shot out for 75. The 2021 runners-up, among the most consistent sides in World Cups, have been found wanting this time.
They made the semi-final in the 2015, 2019 and 2023 editions of the ODI World Cup, and in 2016, 2021 and 2022, the Black Caps ensured a last-four appearance in the T20 World Cups.
It was half past midnight in Trinidad but the locals erupted in joy to celebrate their team’s Super Eight qualification, erasing the disappointment of successive setbacks in the big event.
The two-time former champions were eliminated in the Super-12 stage of the competition in UAE in 2021, while in 2022 in Australia, they failed to make the tournament proper and exited in the group stage.
“It was fantastic. I was sitting there with Nicholas (Pooran) and it was such a beautiful night for someone to stand up and be counted,” skipper Rovman Powell said.
“That (Rutherford) innings gave us confidence and belief. We watched what they did well and tried to replicate it.” “It is one tick in the box, but it is only the start of something big to come. Hopefully we can continue the momentum,” said Rutherford on making Super Eight.Willilamson rung in three changes to the lineup beaten convincingly by Afghanistan and the intent was clear when Trent Boult dismissed Johnson Charles (0) in the first over, forcing the opener to chop on to his stumps.
The Kiwi left-arm pacer ended up with splendid figures of 4-1-16-3.
Nicholas Pooran rode some luck for three quick boundaries, becoming the West Indies’ highest T20I run-getter, moving past Chris Gayle.But New Zealand took ascendancy, forcing Pooran (17) and then Roston Chase (0) to both top edge straight to catchers in successive overs The wicket of captain Rovman Powell capped off a dominant powerplay for the Kiwis — 23/4 at the six-over mark — with pacer Tim Southee (2/21) picking up two of the scalps.
There was more misery in store as opener Brandon King was dismissed by James Neesham (1/27) and half of the West Indies side was back in the dugout by the seventh over.
But Rutherford had other ideas and played one of the best innings of his career.
The 25-year-old Guyanese all-rounder hung around before turning up the heat in the final five overs, blasting five fours and two sixes Rutherford brought up his 50 off the final ball of the 19th over and pounded 18 runs of it in all, leaving Mitchell Santner perplexed.
Rutherford scored all 37 runs in the closing partnership with Motie which became a new 10th wicket record in the ICC T20 World Cup history.
In reply, New Zealand got off to a poor start and lost both their openers — Devon Conway (5) and Finn Allen (26) — in the powerplay.
Thereafter left-arm spinner Motie foxed the Kiwi batters finishing with a match-turning spell of 4-0-25-3 before Joseph turned on the heat with his four-wicket haul.
Motie dismissed Rachin Ravindra after he ended up flicking straight to Russell at deep mid-wicket.
He bowled shorter and induced a faint edge from Williamson, who looked to cut it away. The ball went straight into the hands of Pooran. (PTI)

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