New Zealand led by the charismatic Kane Williamson put on another spirited performance to register an 8 run win over Trans-Tasman rivals Australia in Dharamsala. Batting first, the Kiwis got to a decent total of 142-8 in 20 overs. At one point it seemed that the Kiwis would get to a total in excess of 160, but the Australian bowlers pulled things back.
The New Zealand bowlers, though, were completely efficient and once again it was Mitchell Santner who deceived the Australian batsmen with his spin. Pacer Mitchell McClenaghan dented Australia’s chase with his 3 wickets. Skipper Kane Williamson took a brilliant decision to play McClenaghan over the likes of Tim Southee and Trent Boult, and that paid off.
“We were fortunate to get two wickets which were similar. We adopted similar tactics. It was a pretty tough total to chase on this track,” said Williamson. I think it’s important to try and read the conditions and then select the side accordingly. Now it is important that we gel well as a group, it’s a small transition period. We need to look at the task at hand and perform as best as we can. It’s about commitment when you are trying to defend low scores. We take one game at a time and move on.”
McClenaghan was named the Man of the Match and he said, “It is nice to perform like that, but the effort was collective. The spinners bowled well. The guys really stood out. We take a lot of confidence from the first two wins and we need to win more to advance. I like these conditions, makes me feel like a left-arm orthodox. We had to get off to a good start, our spinners brought us back into the game. Australia never give up. Full credit to them and I am sure we’ll see them later in the tournament. We are off to a fantastic start. We will work hard and focus on the next game. It’s been great to be part of the tournament so far.”