New Zealand (79/3) secure a comfortable 7-wicket victory against PNG (78) to finish their ICC T20 World Cup 2024 campaign on a winning note

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New Zealand finally showcased their dominance in the T20 World Cup, albeit in a inconsequential match against Uganda. Despite their late surge, earlier losses and West Indies' and Afghanistan's impressive performances meant New Zealand missed the semifinals for the first time since 2014.

They'll aim to end their campaign on a high note against Papua New Guinea. The usually reliable Kane Williamson, Daryl Mitchell, and Devon Conway struggled initially, leading to New Zealand's downfall. However, their bowlers delivered against Uganda, dismissing them for 40, which the Blackcaps easily chased down. With Trent Boult's T20 World Cup career ending, New Zealand will push for a farewell victory. Papua New Guinea, who started strong against West Indies and fought hard against Uganda and Afghanistan, will also seek a positive finish.

Squads:

Papua New Guinea
Squad: Tony Ura, Assad Vala(c), Lega Siaka, Sese Bau, Hiri Hiri, Chad Soper, Kiplin Doriga(w), Norman Vanua, Alei Nao, John Kariko, Semo Kamea, Kabua Morea, Charles Amini, Jack Gardner, Hila Vare

New Zealand Squad: Finn Allen, Devon Conway(w), Rachin Ravindra, Kane Williamson(c), Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson, Ish Sodhi, Matt Henry, Michael Bracewell, Mark Chapman

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Toss Update

New Zealand won the toss and opted to bowl first.

Papua New Guinea (Playing XI) - Tony Ura, Assad Vala (C), Charles Amini (replaces Lega Siaka), Sese Bau, Hiri Hiri, Chad Soper, Kipling Doriga (WK), Norman Vanua, Alei Nao, Kabua Morea (replaces John Kariko), Semo Kamea.

New Zealand (Playing XI) - Finn Allen, Devon Conway (WK), Rachin Ravindra, Kane Williamson (C), Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi (In for James Neesham), Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult.
 
New Zealand hammer Papua New Guinea as Lockie Ferguson makes history

Lockie Ferguson made history as he bowled four maidens to return the format's most economical figures, taking 3/0 against Papua New Guinea, playing a big hand in his team's seven-wicket win.

Ferguson's brilliant achievement is just the second time in men's T20 Internationals that a bowler has got through a full four overs without conceding a run, following on from Canada’s Saad Bin Zafar and his 2/0 against Panama in 2021.

And his three wickets helped New Zealand tie Papua New Guinea in knots throughout the first innings in Trinidad, as PNG were bowled out for 78 in 19.4 overs.

The Black Caps lost Finn Allen (0) and Rachin Ravindra (6) cheaply at the start of their chase, with Kabua Morea (2/4) taking both wickets. But Devon Conway put his team well on course with 35 from 32 balls, before Kane Williamson (18*) and Daryl Mitchell (19*) finished the job with 46 balls to spare.

It was New Zealand who won the toss and opted to bowl first, with Trent Boult making his last appearance at a T20 World Cup. But it was Boult's opening partner Tim Southee who made the first breakthrough, dismissing opener Tony Ura for 1(2) in the second over.

And Ferguson made an instant impact as he removed PNG captain Assad Vala for 6 (16) with his first delivery as New Zealand dominated the powerplay, restricting their opponents to just 16/2 in the opening six overs.

Ferguson returned to end a decent partnership between Charles Amini (17 from 25) and Sese Bau (12 from 27), and he ended with his third wicket-maiden in his record-breaking performance.

Trent Boult, playing possibly for the last time for New Zealand, ended with 2/15, while his opening partner Tim Southee took 2/11.

And there were wickets for the spinners too, with Ish Sodhi more expensive with his 2/29 from 3.4 overs and Mitchell Santner taking 1/17 from four.

Only three PNG batters reached double figures, with Norman Vanua hitting 14 from 13 late on to help stretch out the innings.

Earlier, a rain shower delayed the toss in Trinidad as the covers came on moments before the two captains were scheduled to meet in the middle. And another weather delay forced a wait for the start of play, although no overs were lost.

Both of these sides are playing their final match at the tournament after missing out on qualification from Group C.

For Papua New Guinea that is not perhaps a shock, but they will be hoping to end the tournament on a high after doing themselves proud without picking up points in their first three group matches.

But for New Zealand, losses to Afghanistan and West Indies ended their campaign before it had barely begun – a hugely disappointing outcome for a side who were ranked fifth in the world at the start of the tournament.


ICC
 
Kane Williamson (New Zealand) post-match Press Conference - 17th June 2024
[Reporter:]

The campaign has officially wrapped up now that the final game has been played. As you start your post-mortem, what are your takeaways so far from this campaign?

[Kane Williamson:]

Yeah, look, I mean, it's just finished for us, obviously. Well, having said that, I mean, it took a long time to start, and then in a matter of days, we were sort of not in contention, which was frustrating. We wanted to start the campaign strong, and we weren't able to do that. We played against a couple of very strong sides who are very well equipped in these conditions and unfortunately it was the difference in our first two games and then some decent cricket in the last two, so all in all frustrating, but I think the learnings for certainly players that come back, perhaps to this part of the world or in some of these conditions, they’ve been somewhat challenging and so some good experiences to have going forward.

[Reporter:]

You've been playing with Trent Boult since you were at youth level. What does his career mean to you and what was it like to see him say goodbye to T20 international cricket?

[Kane Williamson:]

Yeah, I mean, he's been an amazing servant of our game and like you mentioned, we've sort of grown up playing together from age group cricket, the ages of sort of 10, 11 and really followed a similar path and what he's been able to do in the game, not just for New Zealand but really recognition from all around the world, a skill set, a strong desire to keep getting better and to be at the stage of his career that he is at the moment. Still bowling beautifully, still fit, and strong is a testament to all the work that he's put in. And from us in the inner sanctum, he's always brought a great energy, a real willingness to compete, and a big player for us that's difficult to replace. But I think when somebody puts the time that he has into the black cap and the effort he's put into his country, it paves the way for new players to come through and see a standard that's been set and I think he can be really proud of that.

[Reporter:]

A word on Lockie Ferguson, he's tipped the ball four of us from zero runs, three wickets. What do you think of Lockie's performance?

[Kane Williamson:]

Yeah, I mean, pretty incredible. I suppose usually you go for at least one, often a few more in T20 cricket, but he was able to bowl very consistently and get the rewards. Pretty special to bowl four maidens in a row.

[Reporter:]

Being one of the eldest men in the team, how do you assess your performance in this World Cup?

[Kane Williamson:]

Yeah, I mean, look, I think no matter what happens, you're always wanting to do more. The reality that on these wickets 90, maybe 100 can be winning totals, and so T20 batting needs to look a certain way and then if you get a match up then you can get an above par total perhaps. But it's been really unique, a unique experience for all the guys. We always love coming to the Caribbean, it's a fantastic place to be. The conditions have been challenging I think for batters all around, but it's just about trying to find a way. For us, it's been a short tournament, it would have been nice to have spent a bit more time here and after perhaps gaining a little bit of knowledge about how these wickets play, but not to be so. Yeah, it's moving on and trying to be better for the experience.

[Reporter:]

Are we going to see you in 2026?

[Kane Williamson:]

Oh, I don't know. There's a bit of time between now and then, so it's regrouping as a side. And yeah, we've sort of got Red Ball cricket over the next year basically. So yeah, it's back into some international other formats and yeah, see where things land.

[Reporter:]

I fully admire your team's intensity since the team as captain. How do you keep the team motivated to play these two games, despite that results won't matter?

[Kane Williamson:]

Yeah, look, it's important for us to certainly keep our feet on the ground and respect what's in front of us, the game that we're playing. And I think by doing that you play tough cricket and you try and stick to your standards in the field. And We also know on these surfaces that anything can happen. If you put the ball in the right area, it doesn't matter whether you've played 100 games or one, it's going to be tough. It's about trying to do the work and be fully respectful of that. We know that anybody in this competition can have good days and make a difference, certainly in this format. So as a team it was nice, although frustrating, being out of the tournament to come in these last two games and put in the effort that it required.

[Reporter:]

You mentioned more than once the nature of the pitches, particularly this one. It was sort of up and down and it made batting difficult. What are your thoughts on these type of pitches and the impact that they have on T20 cricket?

[Kane Williamson:]

Yeah, I mean, naturally the scores are quite low. Rhythm to batting doesn't really exist on these wickets. It's trying to find a method that might allow you to get competitive totals and that's quite different I think to other surfaces that are slightly more even, but that's the challenge that's in front of you and both teams have that. So, it's trying to come up with getting options to certain match-ups that might be in your favour. And that's what we saw from the West Indies team that beat us, 90 for 7 and they managed to get 40 in the last two overs. And we were trying to avoid that match up and they exposed it well and they are quite used to some of those surfaces and they showed that and so it was trying to take some of those learnings. So yeah, it's a very different style of cricket but it's trying to learn that as quickly as possible, and in a short tournament, that's quite challenging. And the frustrating part for us is having two losses at the start before perhaps gaining as much knowledge as we would have liked. But two very strong teams that have topped our pool that can go a long way in the competition and that's the nature of the game.

[Reporter:]

When you all were preparing for this tournament, did you expect one - the pitches to play this way and two - did you Are the pitches very different from what you would have previously experienced here in the West Indies?

[Kane Williamson:]

Yeah, yeah, they are a bit different not always really high scoring here sometimes at some venues and they can clearly vary a lot. We've seen even in this competition some grounds getting 200 and others 80 or 100 or something like that. And yeah, I mean, we knew that we would be experiencing some challenging conditions. I think the up and down nature is quite difficult to prepare for. But at the same time, like I say, it's not about doing it perfectly, it's about trying to find a method and we weren't able to do that as well as we would have liked in the first couple of games. So, they've been tricky, but they are what they are and both teams have their opportunities on them. I think bowlers have enjoyed it a lot. They've certainly all seemed to have gone really, really well. And yeah, I mean that's the way it goes.
 
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