Birmingham, June 27 (IANS) New Zealand captain Kane Williamson admitted that they were completely outplayed by a “great” Pakistan side during their first defeat in the ongoing World Cup.
On Wednesday, Pakistan came out with a brilliant bowling performance as they first restricted the Black Caps to 237/6 and then rode on Babar Azam’s unbeaten century to chase down the target with six wickets in hand on a tricky Edgbaston wicket.
“We have seen in the last three games that the surfaces have been assistive to bowling and they have been mighty close games,” said Williamson after the match.
“We were outplayed on a tough surface by a great Pakistan side today,” he added.
The New Zealand credited the Pakistani bowlers for bowling on right line and lengths which made it difficult for the Kiwi batsmen to score runs. “I think there was a little more bounce than we experienced on the same surface the other day. Pakistan put the ball in the right areas, and made life difficult for us.”
However, he was full of praise for James Nisham (97) and Colin de Grandhomme (64) who shared a 132-run stand and took New Zealand to a decent score.
“The fight that we gave in the middle was excellent, thanks to Neesham and de Grandhomme, to post a competitive total,” said Williamson.
He further called on his side to adapt quickly to different conditions and look to play positive brand of cricket in their remaining group stage matches.
New Zealand, with 11 points from seven games, are currently placed at the second spot in the points table. They need to win one out of their remaining two fixtures to confirm their berth in the semi-finals.
They next play Australia (Saturday) and England (July 3).