T20 World Cup: ‘Our fielding was a letdown’: Kane Williamson laments New Zealand’s T20 World Cup defeat to Afghanistan | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Following a significant 84-run defeat against Afghanistan in the ongoing T20 World Cup, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson recognized Afghanistan’s superior performance in the match.
Williamson commended the Afghanistan team for their comprehensive play, acknowledging that they outperformed New Zealand in every aspect of the game.

ALSO SEE: T20 World Cup Schedule | T20 World Cup Points Table

“Congrats to Afghanistan, they simply outplayed us in all facets.

To get to that total on that surface, they kept their wickets and made a good score. We’ll have to put this behind quickly and get back to our next challenge. The boys did work hard in preparations for this match (on the lack of match practice), but it was hard and we need to move on quickly. Games come thick and fast in this tournament. 160 was a tough chase, but we needed partnerships, the skills they had made it difficult for us,” said Williamson in the post-game press conference.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz played a pivotal role for Afghanistan, scoring 80 runs off 55 balls, which contributed significantly to Afghanistan’s total of 159 for six wickets. His performance was instrumental in setting a solid foundation for his team and earned him the Man of the Match award.

The bowling attack of Afghanistan, led by Rashid Khan and Fazalhaq Farooqi, was particularly effective, with both bowlers taking four wickets each and playing a key role in dismissing New Zealand for 75 runs in 15.2 overs. Rashid Khan’s spell of 4/17 was noted as the best by a captain in T20 World Cup history, while Farooqi achieved the distinction of being the first player to take two consecutive four-wicket hauls in the tournament’s history.
Williamson also acknowledged shortcomings in New Zealand’s fielding, especially during the first 10 overs, and recognized missed opportunities that could have altered the match’s outcome.

“Our fielding was a letdown, particularly in the first 10 overs, we had our chances and we didn’t use them. We didn’t take our opportunities and it goes a long way in changing the outcome of the match. Once they had a score, their bowlers executed their skills well. We’ll have a talk about this and then look to come back well in the next match,” the Kiwi skipper added.
This loss places New Zealand in a precarious position within their group, often referred to as the ‘Group of Death’, due to the strong competition. With critical matches ahead, including a game against the host team, West Indies, New Zealand faces the challenge of securing victories to advance to the next round of the tournament.
(Inputs from IANS)


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