Freakish run-out of Williamson hurts NZ in England loss
CHESTER-LE-STREET, England (AP) — Bowlers have been running out of ideas about how to remove New Zealand captain Kane Williamson at the Cricket World Cup.
So England paceman Mark Wood took a novel route.
In one of the most freakish dismissals this tournament, Williamson — the rock of the Black Caps' batting department — was run out at the non-striker's end for 27 when Ross Taylor's straight drive glanced off the fingertips of Wood and hit the stumps.
The fate of Williamson — and, to a certain extent, New Zealand — was sealed after repeated video replays were required to determine the slightest of touches off Wood and he belatedly walked off, head bowed.
New Zealand slumped to 61-3 and eventually was bowled out for 186 by England in a 119-run loss at Chester-le-Street on Wednesday.
"I think they got the best of the decisions," Williamson said, "but they were also the better team and outplayed us."
Williamson will hope his bad luck is out of the way before the semifinals, where New Zealand is heading despite losing its final three group games. Pakistan can still finished tied on points with the Black Caps, but must beat Bangladesh by a margin in excess of 300 runs — something never before achieved in ODI history — when they meet at Lord's on Friday.
Williamson came into the match averaging 113.5 at this World Cup and has scored around 30% of New Zealand's runs, meaning he shoulders his team's batting burden as much as any other player in the tournament.
It is not a healthy position for the Black Caps to be in ahead of a semifinal match against either Australia or India in Manchester on Tuesday.
"It has been a learning curve adapting to a variety of surfaces," Williamson said. "In some ways, it starts again now. We have had a few losses recently but if we get to the semifinal stage, anything can happen.
"We know we haven't played our best cricket yet."
Williamson eased concerns about the fitness of paceman Lockie Ferguson, who missed the England because of tightness in his left hamstring.
The captain said Ferguson, New Zealand's top wicket-taker with 17, had only a "minor" problem and expects him to be available for next week.
Steve Douglas is at www.twitter.com/sdouglas80