Wood's let off proves costly as Williamson makes England pay in New Zealand's win

Ashish Peter 13/02/2018
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Williamson's excellent half-century put New Zealand on top.

New Zealand picked up their first points in the Trans-Tasman T20I tri-series with a 12-run victory over England at Wellington on Tuesday.

Both teams came into the game without a point on the board and it was the Kiwis who came out on top after putting up 196-5 batting first. In a close chase where England were on track throughout, the hosts ultimately restricted them to 184-9 to make it three losses in as many games for the visitors.

New Zealand are now firmly on track to play Australia in the final of the competition on February 21.

We look at the things we learnt from a high-scoring affair at Wellington.

THE GOOD

KANE WILLIAMSON MAKES ENGLAND PAY

The New Zealand skipper had been pretty out of form coming into the match with many even questioning his place in the T20I side. He was given a reprieve before he had even opened his account by England pacer Mark Wood. Wood had all three stumps to aim for after Williamson took off for a quick single off his own bowling but somehow managed to miss the target from 10 feet out.

After that, there was no stopping the elegant right-hander as he showcased some expansive strokes on his way to a quick-fire T20I fifty and his first in 10 innings. He pummeled four huge sixes and as many boundaries in a sparkling 46-ball 72 that guided the Kiwis towards a huge total.

Williamson played himself back into form with a fine 72.

Williamson played himself back into form with a fine 72.

MITCHELL SANTNER SHOWS WHY HE’S NO1

The New Zealand left-arm spinner is the top-ranked T20I bowler in the world for a reason. Santner shared the new-ball duties with Trent Boult and Tim Southee and on a day where almost every bowler was taken for some runs, he was as economical as you could get.

His first three overs went for only 18 runs with the added bonus of Sam Billings’ wicket. He went for some runs in his final over but broke England’s back with the wicket of the set batsman Dawid Malan.

He ultimately finished with excellent figures of 2-29 off his four overs and was a vital catalyst for the Blackcaps’ victory.

Santner's economical spell was vital for New Zealand's win.

Santner’s economical spell was vital for New Zealand’s win.

THE BAD

MARK WOOD’S OFF DAY

The England pacer might have ended his quota of overs with two wickets but it was a day where nothing went right for him. He first let off Williamson and the Kiwi made England pay heavily in the form of 72 quick runs.

He did not fare well with the ball either and was taken for three sixes and five boundaries as Williamson and Mark Chapman took a liking to his pace.

Wood ultimately went for over 12 runs an over, finishing with figures of 2-51 off his four overs.

JAMES VINCE’S LAZY RUNNING

The England batsman’s summer tour of Australia started off with an excellent knock of 80-odd in the first Ashes Test at Brisbane. That innings was brought to an end by a brilliant run-out by Nathan Lyon.

At Wellington, Vince started excellently with a brilliant straight six and was threatening to form a match-winning partnership with Malan. In the end, his innings came to an end on the same note as it had done in the Tests, with a direct hit finding him short of the crease. This time though, it was simply lazy running from the Englishman and he could have beaten Williamson’s throw had he just put in a dive.

Vince failed to put in a dive and paid the price.

Vince failed to put in a dive and paid the price.

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Jackson Bird replaced by Chadd Sayers in Australia Test squad for South Africa series

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Missing out: Pacer Jackson Bird.

Paceman Jackson Bird has been ruled out of Australia‘s Test squad for South Africa with a hamstring injury and replaced by fellow speedster Chadd Sayers.

Bird pulled his hamstring while bowling in a domestic match in Brisbane last weekend and is expected to be sidelined for up to three weeks, opening the door for the uncapped Sayers.

“It’s disappointing for Jackson, but it is exciting for Chadd at the same time,” Australian captain Steve Smith said.

“It’s kind of a like for like sort of bowler, they’re pretty similar. They both stand the seam up nicely and Chadd’s been rewarded for what he has done in Shield cricket over the last couple of years, which is great.”
Sayers was the leading wicket-taker in the Sheffield Shield last season with 62 victims.

“He’s a difficult one (to face),” Smith added. “Because he is so short not many balls go over the stumps, which makes him a pretty handy proposition when the ball is seaming around. I think it is a good selection.”

Sayers joins fellow quicks Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Jhye Richardson for the four-Test South Africa series which kicks off on March 1.

Australia: Steve Smith (capt), David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Chadd Sayers, Mitchell Starc.

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South Africa spinner Imran Tahir racially abused by spectator in fourth ODI against India

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The South African leg-spinner was involved in an altercation with a fan.

Cricket South Africa has launched an investigation after Imran Tahir was allegedly verbally and racially abused by a spectator during Saturday’s fourth one-day international against India in Johannesburg.

Video footage on social media shows Proteas leg-spinner Tahir involved in an angry altercation with spectators in the stands at the Wanderers Stadium during South Africa’s five-wicket win.

CSA announced on Monday that it was looking into the incident, saying Pakistan-born Tahir had been abused by an unknown man and that he had reported the incident to stadium security.

CSA also said Tahir “made no physical contact with the offender or any of the children in the vicinity”.

A statement read: “cricket South Africa has noted and is aware of the circulation of video footage featuring Imran Tahir on social media and Whatsapp groups.

“Imran Tahir was verbally and racially abused by an unknown man during the fourth one-day international against India at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on Saturday.

“Tahir reported the incident to the stadium security, and was subsequently accompanied by two security personnel to identify and to have the man ejected from the stadium.

“Tahir made no physical contact with the offender or any of the children in the vicinity. The incident is under investigation with the CSA and stadium security teams.”

The 38-year-old Tahir has played 20 Tests, 84 ODIs and 36 T20Is since making his South Africa debut in 2011.

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