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23-Jun-2019 04:37:00 GMT
NZ vs SA - 29th match, Manchester

New Zealand survive late heroics from Brathwaite

Manchester: The New Zealand skipper is on a roll. In his last three innings at the World Cup, Williamson has piled on scores of 79*, 106* and 148.

With New Zealand finding themselves in a fix in the ICC World Cup 2019 match against West Indies after Sheldon Cottrell grabbed two wickets in the opening over, Williamson stitched together a 160-run stand with Ross Taylor to take New Zealand to a respectable 291.

Williamson has a special connection with Taylor and as well as England.

With Taylor, Williamson shares a good rapport. The duo are the second-best middle-order pair after the 2015 World Cup in terms of runs. They have had several memorable associations in this time frame and total over 2000 runs as a pair at an average of 65.96 with eight century stands and seven half-century stands.

Only Joe Root - Eoin Morgan have more runs as a batting pair from the middle-order in this time frame.

With an incredible knock of 148, Williamson has walked into the top five run-scorers list this World Cup. After five matches and four innings, he has 373 runs at an average of 186.5 with one half-century and two hundreds.

The average of 186.5 is easily the highest for any batsman in the tournament so far. The next best average is for Liton Das (114) followed by Rohit Sharma (106.66) and Shakib Al Hasan (106.25). In the process of getting his ton, Williamson became the 11th batsman to score ODI hundreds against all the first 10 Test playing nations (excluding Afghanistan and Ireland).

Brief scores:
New Zealand 291 for 8 (Williamson 148, Taylor 69, Cottrell 4-56) beat West Indies 286 (Brathwaite 101, Gayle 87, Hetmyer 54, Boult 4-30, Ferguson 3-59) by 5 runs

On Saturday at Old Trafford, Williamson walked in after the first delivery with Cottrell sending back Martin Guptill.

With Munro also dismissed in the same over, the skipper dropped anchor and started the rebuilding process with Taylor. His half-century came up in 75 balls with the team total on 101. But after that he upped the ante.

In 49 balls, Williamson brought up his next fifty runs to complete his 13th ODI ton. By then Taylor was back in the hut and Tom Latham had joined him. Williamson slammed 45 in his last 30 balls to race to 148 and help New Zealand to 251 at the moment he was dismissed.

The skipper made 50.85% of all runs New Zealand eventually made in the day and in the end, the knock proved decisive as New Zealand prevailed by five runs despite a late blitz from Carlos Brathwaite.

Williamson's sensational run of form in this World Cup has seen him become the highest averaged Black Caps batsman in World Cups (minimum 10 matches). He has made 706 runs in 18 matches at an average of 64.18 with both his centuries coming in this World Cup.

Glenn Turner, Martin Crowe, Scott Styris and Martin Guptill also average above 50 in World Cups for the Kiwis. Slowly, but steadily, the current New Zealand skipper is putting his name in the elite list of ODI batsmen from the country.

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