Twenty20 Cricket World Cup live updates: Black Caps vs India
Kane Williamson of the Black Caps. Photo / Photosport
All the action in the T20 World Cup clash between the Black Caps and India.
Here’s what happened in the Black Caps opener:
The Black Caps’ day began with sad news: Their top pitcher, Lockie Ferguson, had been ruled out of the Twenty20 World Cup with a torn calf.
It ended with an equally grim reality – their Cup campaign is already on the ropes.
A five-wicket loss to Pakistan leaves the Black Caps dangerously balanced in their quest to advance to the semi-finals, with high stakes for Monday morning’s game against India.
Lose that clash, and the Black Caps are set to win their remaining three games against Afghanistan, Scotland and Namibia, while hoping India stumbles against the minnow trio. Even if India was stunned, the Black Caps would still need a higher net progression rate than India to progress.
Defeat India on Monday however, and qualification is in their hands.
It’s a tough equation to contend with after just one game, but such is life in the top group Black Caps, having been outscored by Pakistan in their opener.
Inserted at batting in Sharjah, 134-8 was probably 15 points below par, with none of the Black Caps batsmen able to produce a game-changing set.
Daryl Mitchell is the closest, with 27 of 20 balls after being promoted to open the innings following a successful try in the role in warm-up matches.
He and Martin Guptill (17 of 20) had established a decent platform, Guptill seeing dangerous Shaheen Shah Afridi, while Mitchell attacked, and although Guptill was knocked down, 42-1 by the end of the six-man power play. was a solid foundation on which to build.
There was little build to follow though, with Mitchell fighting and promoting Jimmy Neesham lasting two balls before he was also caught to the limit, slapping a harmless delivery from Mohammad Hafeez to the deep midwicket.
Kane Williamson was scratching 13 of 21 and Devon Conway struggling on three of eight, but two big overs saw the pair find the rope five times, throwing from 63-3 after 11 overs to 90-3 after 13.
That revival ended with Williamson, who looked for a quick single but returned the ball straight to pitcher Hasan Ali, who threw the stumps as Williamson desperately tried to dive back into his crease.
The smooth dismissal was followed by a no-limit 23-ball stretch as neither Conway (27 of 24), Glenn Phillips (13 of 15) or Tim Seifert (eight of eight) could create a spark against excellent bowling from Pakistani death.
While far from ideal, defending 135 was not a dire situation, and by slowing the pace and bringing the outfielders closer, the Black Caps put a dose of pressure back on the Pakistani First Order.
Slower balls from Tim Southee and Trent Boult limited the run rate, with Southee becoming the third pitcher to claim 100 international T20 wickets when he played at Babar Azam.
The early efforts of Neesham and Ish Sodhi helped tie Pakistan together, and when Sodhi trapped Fakhar Zaman lbw, Pakistan faltered at 47-2 after nine overs.
Sodhi also took out the dangerous Mohammad Rizwan, while a superb capture from Conway – diving full length to his left from long range – knocked out Hafeez as Pakistan’s request rate started to get nervous – 42 required of 26 bullets.
Enter Asif Ali.
Two booming sixes on a Tim Southee reduced the requirement to 24 of 18, before Shoaib Malik also came off, hitting 12 on Mitchell Santner’s first three balls as the win came with eight balls to spare.
Maybe the outcome would have been different if Ferguson had been fit, but the Black Caps now have a new reality – one man and one game, they’re going to have to do it the hard way.