Carlos Brathwaite’s late century was in vain as New Zealand secured a five-run win against the West Indies at Old Trafford.
New Zealand found themselves in a tricky situation when they lost two wickets for seven runs in the first over. But their skipper, Kane Williamson, once again showed a calm head.
He wasn’t alone as he led the charge to revive his side’s innings. Williamson was involved in three key partnerships, sharing a 160-run stand with Ross Taylor (69), 43 runs with Tom Latham (12) and 41 runs with James Neesham to steer his side to 251-5 in 46.3 overs before losing his wicket.
His innings consisted of 148 runs off 154 balls (14 fours, one six).
Neesham (28 off 23), Colin de Grandhomme (16 off six) and Mitchell Santer (10 off five) had crucial cameos in taking their side to a competitive 291-8.
Sheldon Cottrell bowled impressively taking 4-56, which included the wicket of Williamson.
The West Indies’ chase was promising. Despite losing two wickets for 20 runs after 6.2 overs, Chris Gayle and Shimron Hetmyer (54 off 45) scored 122 runs, before the latter lost his wicket at the start of the 22nd over.
Wickets tumbled after that. Gayle only managed to reach 87 (six sixes, eight fours) shortly after the Windies passed the 150-run mark and they only managed to reach 164 in 26.5 overs before the fall of their seventh wicket.
Brathwaite and Kemar Roach (14) took the West Indies past the 200-run mark, but the latter lost his wicket in the 39th over.
Cottrell survived for 26 balls and scored 15 but he too was dismissed.
Brathwaite farmed the strike with the intent to power his side to victory. He smashed 25 runs (three sixes, one four) in the 48th over. This meant the Windies needed eight off 12 balls.
Brathwaite went to his 100 off 80 balls. Then, on his 81st ball, he looked to clear the boundary but was caught at long-on and West Indies suffered a heart-breaking defeat.
Lockie Ferguson (3-59) and Trent Boult (4-30) were the chief destroyers for New Zealand with the ball.
The victory took New Zealand to the top of the World Cup standings.
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