New Zealand participated in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 as Dark Horse. They overcame an up and down group stage to be only a few inches from their first title. They return home heartbroken, but with two finals in two editions, they have proved the country’s cricket pedigree.
New Zealand started dominantly in the World Cup and dissected Sri Lanka for 136 before going home with 10 wickets. They built on this startup to achieve four victories from their next four finished games with a match against India that ends in a washout. Successive defeats to Pakistan, Australia and England jeopardized hopes of a semi-final, but the good net run rate had a positive impact on them.
In the semifinals, New Zealand hit India, which was considered by many to be a favorite for the duel following its steady performance in the group stage. But a great bowling attempt by the Black Caps helped them defend 239/8 in 18 runs after tearing down the phenomenal Indian top order. They then looked similarly prepared to score their first World Cup trophy in the Lord’s final after beating 241/8.
A dramatic final that included four additional runs to England, when an otherwise precise throw by Martin Guptill was deflected by a diving Ben Stokes bat to the limit for falling, meant that they could hold England only with a tie.
Set 16 to chase in the Super Over, she once again scored points but lost count on the limit, giving England her first title. It is an understatement to say that the game could have gone both ways. New Zealand will feel heartbroken, but perhaps it will no longer be considered a dark horse at the 2023 edition of the one-day flagship event after this show.
The biggest plus for New Zealand would be bowling, which was statistically very efficient. New Zealand bowlers brought 82 wickets at the tournament at 27.86 – most ahead of England – and scored runs under five against the only team in the competition that did so.
The Tearaway Pacer Lockie Ferguson was her leading wicket-taker with 21 heads, only behind the Australian Mitchell Starc. The other fast bowlers Matt Henry, Jimmy Neesham and Trent Boult took 46 gates between them, while Mitchell Santner scored six scalp arrows with his left arm at a savings rate of 4.82.
As far as the eyelash is concerned, Skipper Williamson was great. In an otherwise misfiring batting unit, he shouldered the bulk of the charge with honors and scored 578 points at 82.57 out of nine inn ings a whopping 28.57 per cent of his team’s aggregate in the tournament.
New Zealand’s eyelash was not very consistent on the whole. After Williamson, Ross Taylor was the prolific hitter with 350 runs at 38.88, followed by Jimmy Neesham with a total of 232. The difference between Williamson and the rest was significant.
The opening was an area of particular importance in which Martin Guptill, Colin Munro and Henry Nicholls achieved only three fifties and not a single century. Considering the fact that other openers like Rohit Sharma and David Warner were the top runscorer of the tournament with almost 650 runs each, New Zealand’s performance at the top with only 402 between their three openers was particularly bad.
Lockie Ferguson wears a thick mustache and looks like he was in his seventies, but it’s his kind of menacing and sharp, fast bowling that completes the vintage touch.
Ferguson drives regularly over 150 km / h and is not afraid to use the bouncer who sends batsmen a stern reminder, so they do not feel too comfortable with the forefoot. Nevertheless, he fails to exaggerate the short length, instead relying on areas of good length to have the best chance of conquering the gates.
The 28-year-old has shown promising signs since his international debut in late 2016, but has since matured to eliminate the accuracy issues that often plague Bowler’s pace. No wonder he finished the World Cup with 21 wickets at 19.47 with an equally impressive 4.88 saving rate.
If he retains these qualities, he could make Trent Boult and Matt Henry one of the most dangerous fast bowling combinations in limited overs cricket. One is tempted to believe that he could soon appear in the test cricket.
All Matches Results
01 June: v Sri Lanka, Sophia Gardens, Cardiff – New Zealand won by 10 wickets
05 June: v Bangladesh, Kennington Oval, London – New Zealand won by two wickets
08 June: v Afghanistan, County Ground, Taunton – New Zealand won by seven wickets
13 June: v India, Trent Bridge, Nottingham – Match abandoned without toss
19 June: v South Africa, Edgbaston, Birmingham – New Zealand won by four wickets
22 June: v West Indies, Old Trafford, Manchester – New Zealand won by five runs
26 June: v Pakistan, Edgbaston, Birmingham – Pakistan won by six wickets
29 June: v Australia, Lord’s, London – Australia won by 86 runs
03 July: v England, Riverside Ground, Chester-le-Street – England won by 119 runs
09 July: v India, Old Trafford, Manchester – New Zealand won by 18 runs
14 July: v England, Lord’s, London – Match tied (England won the Super Over on boundary count)