Williamson digs New Zealand out of strife with 148 v Windies

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — The wild first over was all about West Indies paceman Sheldon Cottrell saluting the New Zealand openers as he sent them back to the pavilion for first-ball ducks.

The next 46 overs were all about Kane Williamson, who posted his second century in as many Cricket World Cup games to guide New Zealand to 291-8 on Saturday at Old Trafford.

Williamson went to the crease on the second ball and, after New Zealand slipped to 7-2, combined with Ross Taylor (69) in a composed 160-run stand to resurrect the innings.

The New Zealand skipper scored an unbeaten 106 not out on Wednesday to usher his team to victory over South Africa with three balls to spare.

And he made it back-to-back hundreds when he pulled Kemar Roach to the fine leg boundary in the 38th over, reaching triple figures from 124 balls.

Williamson was eventually out for 148 from 153 balls — his highest one-day international score — when he skied a catch off Cottrell to wicketkeeper Shai Hope in the 47th over.

Cottrell started and finished with a flourish, adding the late wickets of Tom Latham (12) and Williamson to return 4-56 from 10 overs.

He also ran out Colin de Grandhomme (16) when he threw down the stumps at the non-striker's end in the penultimate over and took two catches in the last over from Carlos Brathwaite to dismiss Mitchell Santner (10) and Jimmy Neesham (28).

His first over was memorable: Martin Guptill trapped lbw to become the just the fourth batsman ever dismissed first ball of a World Cup game; and Colin Munro's dismissal four balls later made it just the second time both openers were out for first-ball ducks in a World Cup game.

It cost the West Indies 10 runs, including an all-run four when Brathwaite dived and missed as he was chasing toward the boundary, and an injury to batsman Evin Lewis. The West Indies batsman left the field with a right hamstring strain and didn't return during New Zealand's innings, meaning he cannot bat in the top order even if fit.

West Indies entered the match in Manchester with three points from five starts and needed a win to maintain any chance of reaching the semifinals, so Jason Holder gambled when he won the toss by sending the unbeaten New Zealanders into bat.

It was the first time in the tournament unbeaten New Zealand batted first and it had instant results for West Indies.

Cottrell hit Guptill on the pads and, after having his vocal appeal turned down, referred the decision to TV umpire Nigel Llong, who confirmed the dismissal.

Cottrell performed his trademark salute, a tribute to his comrades in the Jamaican defense forces, and did it again four balls later when he bowled Munro.

Williams and Taylor toned down the excitement levels and then accelerated the run-rate.

After focusing on working the ball into gaps and hitting loose deliveries for boundaries, Taylor lost patience and advanced to Chris Gayle but managed only a miscue to Holder at mid off, and his 95-ball innings came to an end.

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More AP cricket: www.apnews.com/cricket and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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