press trust of india
CARDIFF, 17 JUNE: New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum (in photo) blamed his team’s batsmen for the 10-run defeat against England in the rain-hit Champions Trophy group match match which had severely jeopardised their chances of making the semi-finals.
“It was a huge moment for us but we let the opportunity pass,” he said in a post-match chat. New Zealand lost half their batting side for 62 runs by the 24th over and managed to put up a fight only after Kane Williamson had struck a 54-ball 67, collecting 73 runs in a sixth-wicket partnership with debut-maker Corey Anderson at the Sophia Gardens yesterday.
“Our batting needs working on. There was pressure after we had lost early wickets and the England pace bowlers really bowled well,” McCullum said.
The Black Caps skipper did not make an issue of the controversial Stuart Broad no-ball that had claimed the wicket of Williamson. Television replays showed that Broad’s heel had clearly overstepped the line, but Williamson was given out.
“It was close, real close. Sometimes the rub of the green doesn’t go your way. But that’s the way it goes,” McCullum said. Williamson was unhappy that New Zealand had got close but could not finish the job.
“It’s a shame that we lost our wickets at key times. We lost our momentum every time a wicket went down,” he said. The 22-year-old Williamson, who has played for Gloucestershire, said that he had been excessively wary of James Anderson’s incoming deliveries.
New Zealand (three points from three matches) awaited the outcome of the last Group A match between Sri Lanka and Australia. Only an Australian win was to bring the Black Caps back in the reckoning for a spot in the semi-finals.