Before the finals, Kane Williamson had scored 131 runs in New Zealand’s six games and was struggling with form - his best score being a 40 not out against Afghanistan in a small chase.
Australia won a crucial toss in the final at the Dubai Cricket Stadium where teams chasing had won 16 out of the last 17 matches and after the early loss of Daryl Mitchell, New Zealand needed the calmness of their captain to take them to a respectable total. He first put his head down and along with Martin Guptill, put on a sedate Partnership. Once he got his eye in, he then took on the Aussie bowlers - especially Mitchell Starc who went for 60 in his four overs and also attacked the fifth bowlers in Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Marsh - which went for 39 runs in their four overs together.
By the time he got out for 85 runs of 48 balls, the score was 148 in the 18th over. Williamson had done his job and New Zealand posted 172, which looked a par score on a fresh pitch at the Dubai Cricket Stadium. After 10 overs, New Zealand’s score read 57/1 but Kane’s train got them another 115 in their second half and it was the highest total in a T20 World Cup final .
Williamson’s innings was a masterclass and showed why he is rated as one of the finest batsman in all formats. He might not be the glamour boy like Virat Kohli, but has got everything which makes him one of the all-times greats in the world of cricket. This was New Zealand’s third straight final but after the heartbreak of 2019 finals, he won them the World Test Championship.
He could not win the T20 world title but won many hearts across the tournament.
- Cricket enthusiast Anis Sajan is the Vice-Chairman of Danube Group