Kane Williamson's maiden century gave New Zealand a win and has all but ended South Africa's hopes of reaching the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 semifinal. (Image credit: Getty Images)
Kane Williamson handled the pressure brilliantly during the clash against South Africa in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 clash in Edgbaston. The New Zealand skipper survived a dropped catch and a run-out and South Africa missed a run-out chance. Williamson made the Proteas pay as he blasted his maiden World Cup ton to give New Zealand their fourth consecutive win against South Africa. Their four-wicket win has all but ensured their qualification into the semifinal stage while for the Proteas, they are all but out of the competition. Speaking after the end of the match, Williamson was his modest self when describing the kind of innings he played.
“I don't really rank innings, but each time you can try and go out and contribute to a winning performance is something that you're always wanting to do, and it was nice I was able to achieve that,” Williamson said. The New Zealand skipper shared a 91-run stand with Colin de Grandhomme who smashed a fifty and Williamson praised the all-rounder for his effort.
“The partnership and the knock from Colin was outstanding in terms of swinging that momentum, and he hit the ball beautifully. Perhaps coming in fresh rather than trying to negotiate the surface prior might have been a positive thing,” Williamson said.
On his part, de Grandhomme followed Virender Sehwag’s mantra of ‘See ball, hit ball’ during his knock and said having Williamson at the other end was crucial during his knock of 60 from 47 balls. “I just tried to watch it as hard as I can. I tend to see the ball and hit the ball and it worked. That's just my game and that's how I play. It went well. I just try to do my job when I can. Some days it doesn't work, today it did. Cricket is a simple game. Having Kane at the other end makes it a lot easier, knowing he's a gun. He didn't give me too much advice, I don't take too much in. We had to take it to the last 10 overs so we had to build for 10 overs. Then we could see where we were. Luckily the run-rate didn't get above seven so we were always still in the game,” de Grandhomme said.
Williamson said the Edgbaston wicket was different and it was a challenge which New Zealand accepted as they look to enter the knock-outs. “We know that coming into the back-end of the tournament, there will be some extremely tough games on different wickets again, and we'll have to wait and see what they hold for us. We'll just have to adapt and keep playing the sort of cricket that gives us the best opportunity to win cricket games, but day in, day out, that can vary a lot depending on opposition and surfaces,” Williamson said.