World Cup 2019: Williamson relieved after navigating tricky chase

Kane Williamson got lucky when he was on 76 after South Africa did not appeal for an edge which Quinton de Kock took off Imran Tahir's bowling.

Kane Williamson's 106 not out set up a four-wicket victory for New Zealand.   -  Getty Images

On a tricky Edgbaston pitch where batsmen struggled with uneven bounce, New Zealand's chase of 242 looked tough when it lost half of its side for 137 runs after Chris Morris' inspiring spell. Colin de Grandhomme's 60 off 47 balls (5x4, 6x1) steadied things. But Lungi Ngidi's penultimate over, which yielded Grandhomme's scalp and just six runs, kept South Africa alive. That was when, Kane Williamson, batting on 96, stepped up.

Requiring eight runs off the final over, the Black Caps' skipper swept Andile Phehlukwayo's second ball for a six over midwicket to bring up his century, then sealed a four-wicket win for New Zealand with a boundary off the next ball.

Williamson expressed his relief for being able to stay until the end and see his side over the line.

“It’s just trying to do the job as well as you can, I was fortunate I was able to do it today,” Williamson said.

The 28-year old was quick to acknowledge Grandhomme's contribution in the chase.

“There were a number of contributions that were so vital,” he added.

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Williamson was fortunate when South Africa chose not to review Quinton de Kock's catch off Imran Tahir in the 38th over. South Africa captain Faf du Plessis, clarified that he was not aware of the nick.

“We weren't aware of it. I think I was at long on at the time, and Quinny (Quinton de Kock) is the closest to the action. He's always my go to man. Both the LBW shot -- I just thought it was a plain miss. I just heard about it now at the post match that he said he had a nick on it,” du Plessis said.

“Even Kane said he didn't know he had to fine tune it. He would have referred it,” he added.

Kane Williamson and Colin De Grandhomme partnership of 91 runs for the sixth wicket paved the way for victory.   -  Getty Images

 

On a tough pitch where batsmen struggled to get going, Williamson was happy that things turned out well for his team.

“You always feel -- some days it's free flowing and you don't have to perhaps negotiate as much as other days. I guess you're trying to be aware of it as much as you can. And then, a little bit different if you're chasing a higher score perhaps on a better surface and you are required to perhaps push it at different stages,” he said

In his long innings, there were only nine boundaries and a lone six -- which many felt was almost old school. But Williamson was happy to keep things that way.

“It just sort of was what it was, I guess. You're just trying to do the job as best as you can and commit to the team playing rather than perhaps your own and not get caught up in what it looks like,” he said.