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Williamson declares New Zealand ready despite West Indies defeat

Kane Williamson
Kane Williamson
©Action Images/Andrew Boyers/Pool
 

Kane Williamson would not be surprised if the mixed fortune New Zealand experienced in their two warm-up games is replicated when the World Cup gets up and running.

  • The Black Caps lost their second warm-up match by 91 runs in Bristol
  • They open their campaign against Sri Lanka in Cardiff on Saturday
The Black Caps enjoyed a dominant six-wicket triumph against India in their first match at The Oval, bowling out their opposition for 179 before knocking the runs off in 37.1 overs.
But they were handed a 91-run defeat in their second warm-up encounter at the Bristol County Ground by the West Indies, who piled on 421 runs with an explosive batting display.
And while Kiwi skipper Williamson was cautious about reading too much into the two contrasting results, he anticipates there could be plenty of topsy-turvy games in the coming weeks.
“I guess in some ways it’s going to be a reflection of what we may see throughout this tournament, we’re not 100 per cent sure on the surfaces we will be on,” he said.
“We know that we will be expecting some to play like this and then we saw the other day it certainly wasn’t like that, but it’s been two really good hit-outs for us.
“I guess you can’t ask for too much more when you have warm-up games like that, we had guys executing different skills here on a small ground with a good surface.
“They got put under a huge amount of pressure and it was a really good hit-out all around. It’s a small ground and the West Indies have a huge amount of power.
“If you combine those two things together and they get going, it can be a very challenging task, but I thought the guys stuck to what they were trying to do really well.”
Trent Boult (4/50) finished with the best bowling figures for New Zealand while Shai Hope (101) smashed a century for the Windies, with Evin Lewis (50) and Andre Russell (54) contributing rapid fifties.
But despite watching his bowlers get struck to all parts of the ground, Williamson was pleased with way his side performed and said the result could have been different on another day.
“We did create a number of opportunities that on another day could go to hand, that’s the way it goes and we know how powerful this West Indies side can be when they get going,” he said.
“But it was a really good hit-out for us. In our first game as a bowling unit we didn’t perhaps get to try out some different phases as the wicket was a different surface.
“We certainly managed that against the West Indies, it was a good surface and we were trying to defend for a large period of that innings.
“Guys were able to come back for their second and third spells and try to implement what they wanted to do against some of the best hitters in the world.”
Another positive for New Zealand was a century for Tom Blundell (106), who could potentially be called on as the replacement wicket-keeper should Tom Latham be unavailable due to a finger injury.
“He spent some time in the middle and it was a brilliant knock, so it was a real positive for him. He was picked on the tour as the back-up keeper depending on how Tom recovers,” said Williamson.
“It’s a day-by-day thing with Tom but he is recovering well. We do hope he will be fit and ready, but Blundell has kept really nicely in the place of Latham at the moment so it’s a good problem.”