New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, who carried his bat through as his side romped home past Afghanistan, acknowledged the brilliant efforts of pacers Lockie Ferguson and James Neesham in paving the way for their third consecutive win at the 2019 ICC World Cup in Taunton.
“There are some world-class players in the Afghan side. They got off to a good start and it was important to build some pressure in the middle-overs, and the way the seamers came back in the middle-overs was fantastic – pace, bounce and a bit of movement did it for them,” Williamson said in the post-match presentation.
“Lockie doesn’t need a lot of encouragement to turn up the speed. He has been fantastic in the three games so far. The left- and right-arm combination helps up top and Neesham hitting the wicket hard with the bounce, pace and the movement was great to watch.”
While Ferguson finished with four wickets to his name, Neesham, who had at one stage contemplated calling it quits all together, claimed five wickets to break the backbone of the opposition batting and finish with a very deserving man-of-the-match award.
“Afghanistan put us under pressure very early with the bat, but we knew we had the ability to dent them even after the start they got. The chase was clinical, obviously. Our home conditions are lower and slower, but the bouncy conditions suited me personally to be honest,” Neesham said.
“I let a few external voices affect my bowling, and I went back to my forte today – hitting the deck hard, and not trying to swing the ball too much.”