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  5. T20 World Cup: Sherfane Rutherford, bowlers help West Indies move into Super Eight after win over New Zealand

T20 World Cup: Sherfane Rutherford, bowlers help West Indies move into Super Eight after win over New Zealand

West Indies have become the first team from Group C to qualify for the Super Eight stage of the ongoing ICC Men's T20 World Cup. They still have a game left against Afghanistan in the group stage.

Written By: Kumar Rupesh @afiestysoul New Delhi Updated on: June 13, 2024 10:05 IST
West Indies.
Image Source : AP West Indies.

Sherfane Rutherford's clutch knock (68* off 39 balls) helped West Indies thump New Zealand by 13 runs in a Group C fixture and qualify for the Super Eight stage of the ongoing ICC Men's T20 World Cup. Rutherford's knock came under a tremendous amount of pressure and lifted West Indies from a hole. The southpaw was adjudged the Player of the Match (POTM) for his match-defining innings.

Rutherford was forced to make his way into the middle in just the sixth over of the game after New Zealand made early inroads into the West Indian batting order. While the Kiwis kept picking wickets, Rutherford held an end together and displayed nerves of steel to exhibit a rescue of the highest order.

He took his time early on and unleashed his repertoire of shots at the death to leave the Blackcaps gobsmacked. Rutherford paced his innings to perfection and hammered two fours and six maximums to compensate for the balls that he consumed during the initial stage of the innings.

West Indies were once staring down the barrel with just 76 runs on the board for the loss of seven wickets and were looking unlikely to even reach the three-figure mark. However, Rutherford's dynamic stroke play powered them to 149 at the end of 20 overs.

In reply, the Blackcaps looked tentative right from the outset and struggled to break the shackles. They kept losing wickets at regular intervals and were five down for 63 at the end of the 11th over.

But just when it appeared that the Windies had them by the scruff of the neck, the Blackcaps cut loose and played a few exhilarating shots towards the fag end of their innings to make the game intriguing. Glenn Phillips (40 off 33 balls) and Mitchell Santner (21* off 12 deliveries) treated the fans with some delightful strokes but it wasn't going to be enough at the end.

Alzarri Joseph (4/19) was the pick of all the West Indian bowlers and received great support from Gudakesh Motie (3/25).

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