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New Zealand will learn from South Africa performance – Kane Williamson

The unbeaten Black Caps are top of the World Cup table with nine points from five matches.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson (Mark Kerton/PA)
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson (Mark Kerton/PA)

Kane Williamson feels New Zealand’s nail-biting World Cup win over South Africa will benefit them in the latter stages of the competition.

New Zealand chased down South Africa’s 241 for six with three balls to spare, skipper Williamson’s unbeaten 106 getting the Black Caps over the line and effectively ending the Proteas’ interest in the tournament.

Victory at Edgbaston took New Zealand to the top of the World Cup table with nine points from five games.

“It’s a really good experience for us as a team in this tournament,” Williamson said after knocking off the eight runs needed from the final over.

“There’s a huge amount to learn from this performance.

“The experiences you have of being put under pressure on a number of different occasions, whether that’s with the bat or ball, and having close games in tournaments like the World Cup are great to be part of.

“That’s especially the case when you come out on the right side of things.

“We go to Old Trafford next and we just have to adapt and keeping playing this sort of cricket that gives us the best opportunity to win games.”

The game was in the balance when New Zealand were 137 for five and Williamson was joined in the middle by Colin De Grandhomme in the 33rd over.

The Black Caps still needed 105 to win from 16.4 overs at that point in a contest reduced to 49 overs per side by heavy overnight rain.

Williamson and De Grandhomme – who made 60 from 47 balls – put on 91 for the sixth wicket, but even the Black Caps skipper had work to do.

“We were just trying to build some sort of partnership to get the game into a death phase,” Williamson said. “We wanted to play with a bit more freedom and get a bit more momentum.

“We did that in small bits, and the effort from Colin was outstanding in terms of swinging that momentum. He hit the ball beautifully and it was enjoyable batting with him.”

South Africa’s hopes of a last-four spot are all but over after picking up only three points from six games.

Skipper Faf Du Plessis certainly appears resigned to their fate ahead of concluding games against Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Australia.

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Faf Du Plessis knows it is nigh-on impossible for South Africa to qualify (Adam Davy/PA)

Told that South Africa remain alive in this tournament, Du Plessis said: “Are we? It’s tough now.

“You can feel in the dressing room the guys are hurting. I’m feeling five years older. My body is really sore after that.

“We left everything out there, and that’s all I can ask for as a captain, that the guys fought.

“But unfortunately, we’ve just not been as good as the opposition that we’ve played against. That’s a skill thing – not a hunger thing, not a determination thing or a fight thing.”

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(PA Graphic)

South Africa missed chances to dismiss Williamson, failing to take a run-out opportunity and not asking for a television review when there was a possible edge and catch to wicketkeeper Quinton De Kock off spinner Imran Tahir.

“We weren’t aware of it,” Du Plessis said. “I think I was at long-on at the time, and Quinny (De Kock) is the closest to the action.

“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.

“But even Kane said he didn’t know. He would have referred it.”

PA

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