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ICC World Cup 2019: Williamson relieved as Black Caps fend off Bangladesh in tense finish

By Opta
Mitchell Santner scored the winning runs for New Zealand

London, June 6: New Zealand captain Kane Williamson admitted it was a relief to see his side stumble over the winning line against Bangladesh at The Oval.

ICC World Cup 2019 Special Page | Full Schedule | Points Table

A gripping Cricket World Cup match ended with New Zealand sneaking home with two wickets in hand, after Bangladesh's 244 all out began to look a challenging target.

Williamson made 40 and Ross Taylor top-scored with 82, as their 105-run partnership provided the backbone of an otherwise wobbly batting performance.

"Obviously it was very nice to get across the line," Williamson said.

He said New Zealand set about their run chase knowing how imperative it was to keep wickets in hand, but they almost ran out before Mitchell Santner struck the winning boundary.

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"It wasn't our most clinical effort with the bat but we still got over the line," Williamson said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

"There were a few soft dismissals that without a doubt we'd want to address but it was a great experience to have in tournament cricket, because these things can happen and games do go down to the wire and momentum shifts change quite quickly.

"We saw that tonight so it was nice to hold on."

Taylor was named man of the match, and said: "I think we were very nervous at the end there but you've got to give credit to Bangladesh. Their supporters came out and it felt like we were in Dhaka or Chittagong for a bit out there."

He lost his wicket with 54 runs still required, and the lower order hustled to ensure New Zealand made it back-to-back wins at the start of their campaign.

"They put a lot of pressure on us and it could have gone either way," Taylor said.

"We thought maybe 270 or 280 was a good score out there but they kept putting pressure on and we kept losing wickets at crucial times. Those little chases become a little bit twitchy and it was nice to get over the line."

Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza led his team to victory over South Africa in their opening match, but it was a story of disappointment for the Tigers this time.

Mortaza said of his team's batting performance: "I think we were 20 or 30 short. The outfield was quite slow so it wasn't the same wicket we played on in the last match.

"At the end they closed it professionally."

Bangladesh face hosts England next, in Cardiff on Saturday (June 8). New Zealand meet Afghanistan on the same day, in Taunton.

"The next one is a big one, we'll have to step up again and give it our best shot," Mortaza said.

"We still have seven matches left so have to think one by one."

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Story first published: Thursday, June 6, 2019, 3:00 [IST]
Other articles published on Jun 6, 2019
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