After being dropped on 17 by Josh Hazlewood, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson smashed 85 off 48 balls to propel his team to a competitive 172/4 in 20 overs against Australia in the T20 World Cup final on Sunday in Dubai.
Australia won the toss and opted to bowl first. The teams that fielded first in Dubai in this World Cup have won most of the matches (11 out of 12). That trend might have given Australian captain Aaron Finch the advantage on winning the toss.
Williamson's 85 is the highest score by a captain in T20 World Cup finals. Along the way, Williamson surpassed 64 of Sri Lanka’s former captain Kumar Sangakkara (2014). And, it was the joint highest innings by any batsman tied with Marlon Samuel’s 85 not out in 2016.
During the powerplay, New Zealand remained mostly quiet as they scored 32 for one. In the next 5 overs, the Blackcaps scored only 25 runs without any further loss of wicket.
In the 11th over, Williamson hit Mitchell Starc off three fours and amassed 19 runs in that over. When Williamson was on fire, Martin Guptil was slightly slow, but his slow stay in the middle ended off the first ball of the 12th over when he went for the slog-sweep, but couldn’t hit the ball well and caught at the deep mid-wicket area.
Williamson picked up his fifty off 32 balls hitting Glenn Maxwell for two sixes in the 13th over.
At the end of 15 overs, New Zealand were at 114 for two. In the 16th over, Williamson went after Starc and smashed him off four fours and one six to score 22 runs with a dot.
However, in the 18th over, Hazlewood scalped two wickets and kept New Zealand down under 180 runs.
New Zealand’s highest partnership came in the third wicket when Williamson and Guptil added 68 off 37 balls. The Blackcaps eventually, ended up on 172 for four in 20 overs. They couldn’t hit the ball well in the last two overs when they posted only 23 runs, after Williamson was dismissed.