Williamson hails Neesham’s match-winning performance vs Bangladesh
June 9 - Kane Williamson refused to take any credit for Jimmy Neesham’s career-best bowling performance but admits the all-rounder was the key to New Zealand’s comfortable victory over Afghanistan.
The Afghans had started well in Taunton, moving to 66 for no loss, when batting first before Neesham broke the opening partnership and then removed four other members of the top seven to skittle the Asian side for 172.
His five for 31 was his first five-for at international level and his best figures in any game of professional cricket – something that was all the more remarkable considering he’d gone at seven-an-over and 12-an-over in the first two games of this World Cup.
The Black Caps batsmen chased down the modest total with ease to notch a seven-wicket win and after using Neesham as a first-change bowler alongside Lockie Ferguson, who took four for 37, Williamson claims the Taunton deck was tailor-made for the all-rounder’s bowling style.
“I wish I could claim some of the credit,” smiled the Black Caps skipper. “Jimmy bowled beautifully. It was a different surface that perhaps suited him a little bit more – someone who runs in and hit the wicket hard.
“We saw that the guys from both sides who did that got a bit of bounce and movement out of it.
“He bowled some beautiful deliveries and broke a crucial partnership at the top. He deserves all credit he’ll get for a five-for, which is outstanding.