The clash between New Zealand and West India had all the hallmark of a thriller. New Zealand won by the skin of their teeth. At one stage it looked as if it was all over for the West Indies bar the shouting but then came a whirlwind inning from Brathwaite. The hitter from the Carribbean took the New Zealand attack head on and in one over by Matt Henry slammed three sixes and 26 runs in an over. He brought the West Indies within reach of victory and trying to hit another six holed out.

He was caught and his anguish showed when he knelt on the field in shock and remorse. The Guardian has reported that in the final analysis, New Zealand won by 5 runs.

New Zealand and Keith Williamson

New Zealand batted first. They were in some trouble against the West India pace attack led by Cottrell. Martill Guptil and his partner Munro lefty without taxing the scorers. The hour finds teh man and the New Zealand skipper Keith Williamson restored sanity in the batting order.

He went on to score 148 and saw New Zealand reach a score of 291/8 in the allotted 50 overs. The skipper had good support from Ross Taylor who scored 69 but in case Williamson had not held the fort New Zealand would have probably not reached anywhere near the 291 they put on board. TOI has commented that the skipper's knock was the need of the hour and he justly also won the Man of the match award.

The West Indies came in to bat and there was an onerous responsibility on Chris Gayle to atone for his past failure in this world cup. In the last game, he had faced 12 balls and scored a zero. This time he thrived on his luck and though dropped thrice hit 87 and gave some hope to the West Indies.

Braithwaite

The match seemed to be in the bag of New Zealand as after the departure of Gayle the West Indies slumped to 164/7.

The West Indian Brathwaite now entered the scene and not only scored a scintillating 101 but took the West Indies within handshaking distance of victory. Brathwaite hit his century in 82 balls with 5 sixes and 9 fours. It was an incredible performance but as they say, good things do not last and in the final analysis in an attempt to hit another six and seal victory he was caught by Tom Latham of Trent Boult.

Trent Boult bowled well for 4 for 30. New Zealand is on its way to the semifinals and West Indies are perhaps on their way out.

In another match, the Indian team got a scare against Afghanistan and barely scraped through by 11 runs. The only saving grace was a hat trick by pacemen M Shami, the lone Muslim in the Indian team. India and NewZealand now seem to have ensured a place in the semi-finals.

World cup

The World cup which promises exciting cricket is being held in England has generated a lot of interest but many have felt the matches should have been scheduled a little later as almost 5 matches have been curtailed or washed out without a ball being bowled due to rain. Both New Zealand and India will need to go back to the drawing board to learn from mistakes in these matches. In hindsight in case, Keith Williamson had not scored 148, New Zealand may well have lost.

The West Indies have suffered close defeats in 2 matches, will be wondering what went wrong for them.

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