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T20 World Cup 2024 | Rampaging Rutherford powers West Indies into T20 World Cup Super Eights

T20 World Cup 2024

Tarouba (Trinidad), June 13: Sherfane Rutherford smashed a career-best unbeaten half-century before pacer Alzarri Joseph and left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie ripped through the New Zealand line-up to steer West Indies into the T20 World Cup’s Super Eight stage with a 13-run win here.
Rutherford came up with the innings of his life, smashing half a dozen sixes and two fours for his 39-ball 68 to lift West Indies to 149 for 9 from 76 for 7 in 12.3 overs after New Zealand opted to bowl in a virtual knock-out Group C fixture.
In reply, West Indies restricted the Kiwis to 136 for 9 with Rutherford’s fellow Guyanese Motie returning with splendid figures of 3/25. Joseph turned up the heat lower down the order to become the wrecker-in-chief with his 4/19.
With three wins in a row, the tournament co-hosts qualified for the Super Eight stage, while New Zealand’s hopes were all but over following back to back losses.
They had earlier lost to Afghanistan by 84 runs after being shot out for 75. The 2021 runners-up, among the most consistent sides in World Cups, have been found wanting this time.
They made the semi-final in the 2015, 2019 and 2023 editions of the ODI World Cup, and in 2016, 2021 and 2022, the Black Caps ensured a last-four appearance in the T20 World Cups.
It was half past midnight in Trinidad but the locals erupted in joy to celebrate their team’s Super Eight qualification, erasing the disappointment of successive setbacks in the big event.
The two-time former champions were eliminated in the Super-12 stage of the competition in UAE in 2021, while in 2022 in Australia, they failed to make the tournament proper and exited in the group stage.
“It was fantastic. I was sitting there with Nicholas (Pooran) and it was such a beautiful night for someone to stand up and be counted,” skipper Rovman Powell said.
“That (Rutherford) innings gave us confidence and belief. We watched what they did well and tried to replicate it.” “It is one tick in the box, but it is only the start of something big to come. Hopefully we can continue the momentum,” said Rutherford on making Super Eight.
Willilamson rung in three changes to the lineup beaten convincingly by Afghanistan and the intent was clear when Trent Boult dismissed Johnson Charles (0) in the first over, forcing the opener to chop on to his stumps.
The Kiwi left-arm pacer ended up with splendid figures of 4-1-16-3.
Nicholas Pooran rode some luck for three quick boundaries, becoming the West Indies’ highest T20I run-getter, moving past Chris Gayle.
But New Zealand took ascendancy, forcing Pooran (17) and then Roston Chase (0) to both top edge straight to catchers in successive overs The wicket of captain Rovman Powell capped off a dominant powerplay for the Kiwis 23/4 at the six-over mark — with pacer Tim Southee (2/21) picking up two of the scalps.
There was more misery in store as opener Brandon King was dismissed by James Neesham (1/27) and half of the West Indies side was back in the dugout by the seventh over.
But Rutherford had other ideas and played one of the best innings of his career.
The 25-year-old Guyanese all-rounder hung around before turning up the heat in the final five overs, blasting five fours and two sixes Rutherford brought up his 50 off the final ball of the 19th over and pounded 18 runs of it in all, leaving Mitchell Santner perplexed.
Rutherford scored all 37 runs in the closing partnership with Motie which became a new 10th wicket record in the ICC T20 World Cup history.
In reply, New Zealand got off to a poor start and lost both their openers Devon Conway (5) and Finn Allen (26) in the powerplay.
Thereafter left-arm spinner Motie foxed the Kiwi batters finishing with a match-turning spell of 4-0-25-3 before Joseph turned on the heat with his four-wicket haul.
Motie dismissed Rachin Ravindra after he ended up flicking straight to Russell at deep mid-wicket.
He bowled shorter and induced a faint edge from Williamson, who looked to cut it away. The ball went straight into the hands of Pooran.
Glenn Phillips kept the Kiwi hopes alive with his 33-ball 40 before being dismissed by Joseph.
New Zealand needed 33 runs from the last over and Mitchell Santner smashed three sixes off the first four balls but eventually fell short.
India ride on Arshdeep, SKY to book Super 8 slot
This one is for the underdogs. This one is for those who were looked past. This one is for those who don’t take lightly being dismissed before they even get started.
Sure, these sentiments would have held more truth and gravitas had the United States of America defeated India in their T20 World Cup fixture on Wednesday, but the fact that they put the fear of loss on the faces of those in the Indian team was good enough while it lasted.
This game, the last of India’s commitment at the Nassau County International stadium, was playing out eerily like some of the upsets this event has witnessed so far. US’ win over Pakistan, Afghanistan’s dismissal of New Zealand. Now, this?
Only, India’s batting unit was able to put aside the problematic surface and get to 111 for 3 from 18.2 overs in pursuit of 111. With this win, India have assured their spot in the Super eight, having accumulated six points from three games.
After they lost Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli with 15 runs on the board, the voice went out of the largely Indian fanbase. That anxiety from the 31,000-odd people was palpable, and it only grew thicker when Rishabh Pant (18) was dismissed.
And Saurabh Netravalkar (2/13) was quickly gaining worldwide acclaim. Turns out, left-arm seamers – Arshdeep Singh had figures of 4-0-9-4 – would have a fine day.
Now, it was down to Suryakumar Yadav (50 n.o.) and Shivam Dube (31 n.o.) to get the job done. It wasn’t the most aesthetic of alliances because Dube couldn’t fetch a run for most of his knock, but once he got hold of one six, and Suryakumar switched it up, India cruised.
The crowd wouldn’t be denied a jolly farewell from the metal circus in Long Island.
But, not long ago, America’s bravado in the face of one of the best bowling line-ups in the tournament was visual confirmation of the fact that they didn’t come here to assist in a head count.
They were really out there to show that their win over Pakistan from a few days ago was not a flash in the pan, nor the fact that they’re second on the Group A table behind India.
Of course, losing Shayan Jahangir off the first ball of the day was less than ideal, but the likes of Steven Taylor (24), Nitish Kumar (27) and Corey Anderson kept their wits about them when they could have easily fallen in line, cornered themselves, given in.
In fact, America’s batters did what Pakistan should have on Sunday against India. Babar Azam’s men were in a fine position in pursuit of 120, but instead of pushing the ball about in the near-run-a-ball chase, they tried forcing their hand and ended up mucking it.
The US played within their limitations and looked good doing it: rotating strike, playing out the good deliveries, and stretching their arms when the lengths were lax. Also, they benefitted from the shorter boundaries behind the ’keeper as a fair few edges flew over.
That pitch, the one which seemed rather docile in the first innings, was suddenly all sorts of trouble when the Indians came on. While Kohli was undone by his inability to keep his hands to himself, Rohit couldn’t do much with a sticky ball, and Pant was bowled by a grounder.
Besides, Suryakumar got hammered on his gloves a couple of times, and when that wasn’t happening, he was dunking himself down to stop the ball from crawling under his bat and onto the stumps.
It was not fun out there, but after being dropped – a tough chance – by Netravalkar, he still got into it and got it done, a task made somewhat easier by the US’ poor over rate which led them to concede five crucial runs. (PTI/Agencies)

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