New Zealand fans may be thanking captain Kane Williamson for saving his best innings in the World Cup. Williamson’s lone knock helped the Kiwis find the best score despite losing the crucial toss in the thrilling final of the Twenty20 World Cup. Despite losing his maiden T20I by 15 runs, Williamson set the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on fire as the Kiwis set a 173-run target for victory over Australia.
The Kiwis lost the toss and opted to bat, scoring 172 for four in the allotted 20 overs. It is also the highest score in the history of the Twenty20 World Cup finals. The Kiwis have surpassed the West Indies’ record of 161 for six against England in Kolkata in the 2016 World Cup final.
Williamson, who equaled West Indies player ‘Marlon Samuels’ record for highest individual score in a Twenty20 World Cup final, was out for 85. Williamson’s 48-ball innings included 10 fours and three sixes. The skipper hit just 18 off the first 19 balls and 67 off the next 29 balls!
Openers Martin Guptill (28 off 35 balls), Daryl Mitchell (11 off eight balls) and Glenn Phillips (18 off 17 balls) were the other leading scorers. Jimmy Neesham was unbeaten on 13 off seven balls and Tim Seafert was unbeaten on eight off six balls. The duo added 24 off 13 balls for the fifth wicket. Williamson and Phillips added 68 off 37 balls for the third wicket to give the Kiwis the backbone of the innings.
Josh Hazelwood, who took three wickets for 16 runs in four overs, was the bright spot for Australia. Adam Zampa took one wicket for 26 runs in four overs. Pat Cummins, who did not take a wicket but conceded just 27 runs in four overs, was also impressive. Mitchell Starc conceded 60 runs in four overs.