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World Cup 2019: Analysis of New Zealand's campaign 

Edan Nissen
ANALYST
Feature
149   //    Timeless

New Zealand v England - ICC Cricket World Cup Final 2019
New Zealand v England - ICC Cricket World Cup Final 2019

For the second successive World Cup, New Zealand missed out in the final to the host nation. In 2015, New Zealand fell to co-hosts Australia in a disappointingly one-sided final. However, in 2019, New Zealand pushed host nation England till the final delivery. They lost to England by a smallest of margins, after both the game and the super over ended in a tie. England emerged victorious, courtesy of their superior boundary count.

As co-hosts of the 2015 World Cup, New Zealand shocked many after defeating South Africa to make it to their first World Cup final. The stage was set for Brendon Mccullum's big-hitting New Zealand to square off against Michael Clarke's Australia. The match failed to live up to the hype as Australia bowled the Kiwis out for a meagre 183 in 45 overs at the MCG.

2019 World Cup Squad

Following the 2015 World Cup, New Zealand saw the retirement of Daniel Vettori and captain Brendon Mccullum followed him a year later. Therefore, New Zealand found a new leader in the affable Kane Williamson. Williamson was joined in the 2019 squad by Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Martin Guptil, and Matt Henry.

They were joined by a host of all-round talents like Colin de Grandhomme, Jimmy Neesham and Mitchell Santner. Rest of the squad includes the likes of explosive Colin Munro, Lockie Ferguson, uncapped wicket-keeper Tom Blundell.

2019 World Cup Performance

It would have been agonizing for New Zealand fans to watch their team come so close to victory in the World Cup final only to be defeated by boundary count. New Zealand qualified for the final in 4th place, just nudging out Pakistan on superior run rate.

New Zealand got off to a great start to the tournament, defeating Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, before their group game against India was abandoned because of rain. They lost a final few group stage games but somehow managed to qualify for the semi-finals.

New Zealand played in India in the semi-finals. New Zealand looked in trouble during their innings, however, rain-delayed proceedings into the second standby day and they managed to put 239 on the board. India got off to a poor start, losing 4 wickets inside the first 10 overs. Despite Jadeja's heroics, New Zealand won the game.

In the final, it was New Zealand's bowling up against England's star-studded batting line up. The final saw a see-saw battle between the two teams with England restricting New Zealand to just 241. However, England seemingly let the game slip when they were batting, finding themselves 4 wickets down in the 23rd over. A phenomenal partnership between Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes helped England regain some momentum as the all-rounder helped push the game to a tie.

After a tied super over, New Zealand, unfortunately, lost the final on an inferior boundary count.

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Standouts

Kane Williamson was the standout with the bat and was the only batsman for New Zealand to score over 500 runs in the tournament. He was named 'Player of the Tournament'. The next closest was Ross Taylor, who scored 350 runs.

Lockie Ferguson was the pick of the bowlers with 21 wickets in the tournament, including 3/50 in the final against England.

Disappointments

The biggest disappointment in the World Cup for New Zealand, apart from losing the final, would have to be the failure to find a working opening partnership. Having used Colin Munro, Martin Guptil and Henry Nicholls as openers, none of the options seemed to work for the Kiwis.

Removing the first match from the statistics, Martin Guptil scored 113 runs in 10 games as an opener while Colin Munro scored just 67 runs in his five outings.

Also read - World cup all-time records

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