Brathwaite Was 'extraordinary', Says Boult > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - Brathwaite was 'pretty exceptional', says Boult

Boult took a stunner at boundary line to dismiss Brathwaite.

Carlos Brathwaite had almost pulled it off for West Indies; eight runs were needed off 12 balls. Jimmy Neesham was bowling the penultimate over and it could've just as well been the deciding one. Three dots to Brathwaite, who was on 99, and the pressure was building. A pull to deep-midwicket then gave him his century, with just the finishing job to do - six needed.

He had almost pulled it off, a pull that should have cleared the boundary. Would have on another day perhaps, but was pouched by the safe hands of Trent Boult, who has shown his prowess with some stunners on the boundary line more than just this one time in his career. It was the game for New Zealand, and heart-break for Brathwaite as West Indies fell short by just five runs.

"Initially I thought it was going to be quite a way inside the rope, but almost driven for six in the end, but nice to sniffle it," said Boult on Saturday (June 22). "I thought Carlos was going to tap one and look to take five off the last over. But he looked for the big one. I'm sure he'll be hurting. But I think a lot of credit is due to him and for getting them in a pretty good position. What a game. Simple as that, really."

New Zealand were in control of proceedings early after sending back Shai Hope and Nicholas Pooran early, but dropping Chris Gayle had them recover as the left-hander went on to add a century stand with Shimron Hetmyer. The pair brought up their respective fifties before New Zealand's bowlers struck back as wickets fell in a heap in the middle overs as they pulled things back with West Indies losing 5 for 22.

"It was great to see the bowlers come back in those middle periods and pull it back a little bit. And I thought we were in an, obviously, very good position. It was maybe one of those grounds where wickets do fall in clumps. But we thought that if we put a lot of pressure on them, expose the one wicket and hopefully the wicket get one or two in a group there. But for Carlos to come out and do that as cleanly as he did, pure hitting ...I'm going to say that was pretty cool to watch. It was pretty exceptional... a great 100. But to come that close and be on the right side of it is, of course, a very good feeling. Great game, great for the tournament."

New Zealand had themselves lost both openers in the opening over for golden ducks, leaving Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor with the rebuilding job. The pair brought to the fore their wealth of experience and answered the call with a 167-run stand. Taylor fell for 69, but Williamson marched on to score his second century in as many games.

"I thought it was classy, to be honest. It's what they've done many a time for us, time and time again and just absorbed the pressure there, especially Kane and backed up nicely with Ross," said Boult. "Kane got the rewards in terms of a big innings under his belt, but it was big for us to see the platform, get us that chance to push to a good score. I think the wicket probably wasn't as good as what we thought it was going to be. But 290 was a pretty positive total in our opinion."

Williamson fell for 148 off 154 in the 47th over with New Zealand just having crossed the 250-run mark. Cameos, however, from Colin de Grandhomme, Neesham and Mitchell Santner took them to 290, which turned out enough for them in the end, only just, with New Zealand still unbeaten in the tournament alongside India.

"It's been a bit of an emotional roller coaster sitting there with the pads at times and then being under the pump there with the ball. It's what it's all about. It's awesome to be a part of it. And I'm sure there will be a lot of proud Kiwis back home, diving into poached eggs, watching a result like that."

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