New Zealand would consider themselves lucky that they would not be without Kane Williamson in the last and decisive group game of the ICC Champions Trophy after losing to England by 87 runs. In their final group game against Bangladesh, New Zealand now need a win to have any hopes of qualifying to the semifinals and finishing in the top-two of the group stages.
Batting first, England scored 310 runs, their second 300-plus score in as many matches in the tournament, before putting New Zealand under enough pressure to bowl them out for 223 runs to pick up an 87 run win and seal their passage into the final-four. Thus becoming the first team to qualify for the semi-finals.
Williamson handed England the credit for bowling in the right areas and forcing New Zealand players into errors under surging required rate. “It would have been nice for Ross (Taylor) and myself to be able to take it further and maybe sort of bring it down to that 10-an-over mark where anything can happen,” said Williamson. “A credit to the way England bowled. They got a lot out of the surface. They bowled a very good area, very consistent, and made life difficult for us with the bat.”
Williamson’s exit for 87 runs in the 31st over led to a New Zealand collapse similiar to the one they had against Australia in the first game. Including Williamson’s wicket, New Zealand lost eight wickets for 65 runs. Mark Wood bowled a beautiful delivery that Williamson could only glove behind to be plucked by a diving Jos Buttler. On the delivery by the Durham seamer, Williamson said, “He’s a very good bowler, unique in the fact that he
bowls at such good pace off maybe a five to 10-metre run-up — which you don’t see too much around the world. He’s performed very, very well for England over a period of time — especially coming back after injury… so certainly he is a strength of their bowling attack.”