• Wednesday, July 24, 2024

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T20 WC: Ferguson stars in NZ victory; West Indies thrash Afghanistan

Ferguson took a record three wickets, bowling four maiden overs, leading his team to a seven-wicket victory over Papua New Guinea.

Lockie Ferguson, who was named Player of the Match for his match-wining performance, celebrates with his teammates after taking a wicket. (Photo: Getty Images)

By: Vivek Mishra

In the final group matches of the T20 World Cup, New Zealand defeated Papua New Guinea, while the West Indies secured a commanding win over Afghanistan.

New Zealand’s Lockie Ferguson took a record three wickets, bowling four maiden overs, leading his team to a seven-wicket victory over Papua New Guinea at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy.

Papua New Guinea, dismissed for 78, couldn’t challenge New Zealand, who chased down the target with 46 balls to spare.

Trent Boult, in his final World Cup appearance, took two wickets for 14 runs and expressed mixed emotions about his retirement from global tournaments.

“I felt a few emotions over the last few days,” said Boult, who announced his retirement last Friday.

After a 65-minute rain delay, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson chose to field. Papua New Guinea struggled, with only leg-spinner Ish Sodhi being relatively expensive, taking two for 29 from 3.4 overs.

Despite losing Finn Allen early for a duck, Devon Conway’s 35 from 32 deliveries ensured a comfortable win for New Zealand.

“Chasing was a bit of a grind but we got across the line,” Williamson said.

In another match, the West Indies, led by Nicholas Pooran’s 98 runs, defeated Afghanistan by 104 runs in St Lucia.

Pooran, who hit eight sixes, was run out on a direct hit by Azmatullah Omarzai, helping West Indies reach the highest score of the tournament, 218 for five.

Despite already qualifying for the Super Eight round, Afghanistan fell short, scoring 114 from 16.2 overs. The West Indies started aggressively, with Brandon King and Johnson Charles setting a fast pace.

Pooran continued the momentum, contributing significantly to the team’s strong start, with the West Indies scoring 92 for one by the end of the powerplay.

Afghanistan’s bowlers managed to slow the run rate somewhat, but the West Indies still reached 200 after 18.5 overs.

Obed McCoy, playing his first game of the tournament, took three wickets for 14 runs, maintaining pressure on Afghanistan throughout their innings. Pooran also made a spectacular leaping catch as a wicketkeeper.

“I had to take responsibility,” said Pooran. “In the West Indies, people want fours and sixes. You can’t do that every time but when conditions allow you should capitalise.”

These matches concluded the group stage, setting the stage for the Super Eight round starting Wednesday.

(Reuters)

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