CWC 2019: World Cup final defeat "hard to swallow" for New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson

Press Association Sport 09:00 15/07/2019
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Kane Williamson branded New Zealand’s World Cup final defeat due to an inferior boundary count as “hard to swallow”.

The Blackcaps skipper hailed champions England, who edged out his side after a tied super over, the World Cup’s version of extra time.

England swept the title by virtue of hitting more boundaries, where the two sides were tied on 241 runs, with the super over stint being tied on 15 runs apiece.

New Zealand lost their second straight World Cup final with England sealing their maiden triumph, leaving Williamson lamenting a hefty amount of “uncontrollables” in defeat.

Asked if he felt the super over rules are fair, Williamson said: “I never thought I’d have to answer that question. While the emotions are raw it’s pretty hard to swallow.

“Two teams have worked really hard to get to this moment in time.

“So when two attempts to separate them with a winner and a loser still didn’t perhaps shine, it just is what it is.

“The rules are there are the start. No-one probably thought we’d have to resort to that. But it was a great game of cricket.

“Everyone is still here, they want more. But we’re looking forward to putting our feet up now and reflecting on the tournament.”

Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes’ match-high 110-run partnership dragged England from 86 for four to 241 all out.

Stokes could so easily have been out and England’s game up when he appeared to hole out to Trent Boult on the boundary rope.

Boult stepped on the rope in fielding the catch, however, and the Kiwi quick had the sportsmanship to admit his crucial transgression.

Stokes wound up 84 not out in the 50 over section and then he and Buttler steered England to 15 in the super over.

New Zealand matched that super over tally to leave the title decided on boundary count, with England’s 26 trumping the Blackcaps’ 17.

England’s eventual 241 also involved another controversial moment, when Martin Guptill’s shy at the stumps deflected off Stokes’ bat for four byes.

Quizzed on that incident, Williamson said: “The rule has been there for a long time.

“I don’t think anything like that has ever happened. But you can’t look at that and think that perhaps that decided the match.

“There were so many other pieces to that game that were so important.

“It was a pretty tough pill to swallow that, yeah, when we were looking pretty likely with Trent bowling pretty well.”

And asked to comment on Boult’s sporting act of admitting Stokes was not caught but had hit a six, Williamson added: “I suppose we’ve just finished the game, but whether people talk about it in years to come we’ll have to find out.

“It is quite hard to look at it in a rational way when we’ve just been through that. But judging by the support clearly this was a great spectacle.

“Whether to laugh or cry, it’s your choice, isn’t it. It’s not anger for us, a lot of disappointment I suppose. The guys are really feeling it.

“Today it ebbed and flowed but the guys stuck with it beautifully well. The rules are there I guess, aren’t they?

“I don’t even know what the boundary count was, but obviously we were slightly behind.”

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