Rutherford drags West Indies into Super 8s as Black Caps left on brink

By Sports Desk June 13, 2024

Sherfane Rutherford hit an unbeaten 68 – including a staggering 37 from the final two overs – as West Indies reached the Super-8 stage at the T20 World Cup with a 13-run victory over New Zealand.

The co-hosts looked to be on course for their first defeat of the tournament when they slipped to 22-4, Trent Boult finishing with a team-best 3-16 for the Black Caps.

Rutherford had little support and initially made slow progress, only to dial it up in the dying stages, smashing three maximums off Daryl Mitchell in the 19th over then hitting two fours and another six off Mitchell Santner in the 20th.

New Zealand's chase never really got going as their middle order collapsed, Windies paceman Alzarri Joseph finishing with figures of 4-19 and Gudakesh Motie going 3-25.

Joseph's delivery saw Glenn Phillips caught by Rovman Powell at long on for the innings' crucial wicket, the all-rounder hitting 40 off 33 balls as none of his team-mates managed above 26.

While West Indies retain a perfect record at the top of Group C, New Zealand are on the brink of an early exit. They must win their remaining matches against Uganda and Papua New Guinea and hope other results go their way to advance.

Data Debrief: Rutherford's rescue act

When West Indies found themselves teetering in Trinidad and Tobago, Rutherford bailed them out.

His 68 runs at number six represents the second-best score ever recorded by a batter coming in at six or lower at the T20 World Cup, after Cameron White managed 85 versus Sri Lanka in 2010.

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    Those in attendance at Lord's rose to their feet and applauded the England seamer as he left the field of play for one final time. 

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    "It is special to win and to contribute as well. I'm happy I got a couple of top-order batters out in the second innings.

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    "When I ran up to bowl my first ball I was in a daze and had not even thought where I was going to bowl."

    Anderson kickstarted England's search for four wickets to ensure the triumph by bowling out Joshua Da Silva (9) having walked out to a guard of honour at Lord's. 

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    Instead, it would be Test debutant Gus Atkinson to capture the final wicket, becoming the first England bowler to take a 10-wicket match haul on debut since John Lever in India in 1976. 

    "It would have been nice to get that catch. I should have got two hands to it. It was an awkward height and didn't stick. But I'm just happy we got the win," Anderson said.

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