New Zealand’s jouney to the final

New Delhi, July 13 (IANS) England captain Eoin Morgan had said that New Zealand were the best side in the group stages of the World Cup and a look through the results would tell you that he was not far from the truth.

They finished fourth in the table due to a dip in form towards the end of the group stages and a washed out match, but the Kiwis were one of the dominant sides for much of this tournament. IANS takes a look at their journey to the final, where New Zealand will clash with hosts England at the Lord’s on Sunday.

vs Sri lanka (June 1)

Result: New Zealand won by 10 wickets

Although strong performances like these were common throughout the tournament for New Zealand, this was an anomaly given that their openers never fired in this manner again. Matt Henry and Trent Boult picked three wickets each to dismiss Sri Lanka for 137 before openers Martin Guptill and Colin Munro chased down the total in just over 16 overs.

vs Bangladesh (June 5)

Result: New Zealand won by 2 wickets

Matt Henry’s four-fer helped New Zealand dismiss Bangladesh for 244 but it took a 105-run stand between skipper Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor to resurrect the run chase after the Kiwis lost their first two wickets within the first 10 overs. Williamson was eventually dismissed in the 32nd over for 40 and Taylor a few overs later for 82. But the lower order easily saw the game out.

vs Afghanistan (June 8)

Result: New Zealand won by 7 wickets

Lockie Ferguson and Jimmy Neesham were on the Afghanistan batsmen like a rash, picking four and five wickets, respectively. Only four Afghanistan batsmen managed to get double digit scores. Williamson was unbeaten on 79 and his 89-run stand with Taylor ended any chances that the Afghan players were nursing after they got the first two wickets quickly.

vs India (June 13)

Result: Match abandoned due to rain without a ball being bowled

vs South Africa (June 19)

Result: New Zealand won by 4 wickets

The first time New Zealand were truly tested in the tournament. The beleaguered South African side were limited 241/6 largely thanks to Ferguson’s three-fer. Munro and Guptill failed to fire once again as Chris Morris ran through the Kiwi middle order. But Williamson’s 57-run stand with Neesham and a 91-run partnership with Colin de Grandhomme got them close. Williamson was unbeaten on 105 as New Zealand won the match by four wickets with just three balls in hand.

vs West Indies (June 22)

Result: New Zealand won by 5 runs

Arguably one of the matches of the tournament. New Zealand batted first and Williamson shone once again with a masterful 148. Sheldon Cottreel picked up four wickets as New Zealand ended their innings on 291/8. Shimron Hetmyer and Chris Gayle put up a 122-run stand but West Indies kept losing wickets either side of that stand. But that was until Carlos Brathwaite started leading a stunning rear guard act. The mercurial all-rounder smashed 101 off 82 balls and it looked like he had the match in his hands when West Indies needed four to win from seven balls. However, his attempt for a big finish went awry as he holed out at long on as New Zealand won the match.

vs Pakistan (June 26)

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