Dharamsala: A modest New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson today said his team was "fortunate" to be playing on similar wickets after pulling off a dramatic victory over Australia in the ICC World Twenty20, here yesterday.
New Zealand's captain Kane Williamson (R) celebrates with teammate Ish Sodhi after victory in the World T20 cricket tournament match between Australia and New Zealand at The Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium (HPCA) in Dharamsala. Pic/AFP
The Kiwis produced yet another sublime bowling performance to pull off a second successive giant-slaying act, beating ODI world champions Australia by eight runs.
"We were fortunate to play on two wickets so similar," said Williamson referring to their win over hosts India in the tournament opener at Nagpur.
New Zealand bowled with a lot of heart to stop Australia at 134 for nine after making 142 for eight at the scenic HPCA Stadium. The highlight of the Kiwi innings was a 27-ball 39 by opener Martin Guptill.
Asked about the secret behind New Zealand's ability to defend low totals in successive games, Williamson said, "We adopted similar tactics. On some of these surfaces it's (chasing 140+) a pretty tough total to chase."
Australia captain Steve Smith praised the New Zealand spinners for the turnaround after Australia were sitting pretty at one stage.
"I thought 150 was par. (But) their spinners bowled extremely well and we didn't respond well; we lost wickets in clumps and couldn't get any partnerships together," Smith said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Man of the Match Mitchell McClenaghan, who returned with impressive figures of 3/17, said they were already looking forward to the next game.
"Nice to perform like that but it was as a collective effort. The spinners were fantastic and got us back in the game. It's nice to show some teams we can play in these conditions. There still 2 more games (though)."