England v New Zealand, World T20 2016, Semi-final, Delhi March 30, 2016

'Wasn't meant to be for us' - Williamson


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Match Day: England's death bowlers never under pressure

When New Zealand lost the 1999 World Cup semi-final, their fourth straight such defeat in ICC world events, Dion Nash sat alone in the dressing room after everyone had left. He was absolutely filthy with himself and with his team at a "shocking" display in a one-sided defeat to Pakistan. "I am a bit of a bad sport at that," Nash said. New Zealand fans might be feeling the same at yet another semi-final defeat after having bolted out of nowhere to enter the knockouts as one of the favourites.

This team won't get too down on itself, though. A calm - as usual - Kane Williamson accepted the fickleness of the format where two mistimed full tosses can lose you a match, and said the team will be better for the experience. It certainly wasn't, Williamson said, the knockout match bringing them down psychologically.

"We were 130 for 3, which certainly is a very good platform in any match that you play in T20 cricket," Williamson said. "We couldn't capitalise on it. It is such a small part of what you look at when you [look for things to] improve on. It would have been nice if we had got a few more there. It wasn't due to lack of effort, and England bowled well. It's one of those things. Twenty20 is very fickle in nature, and today wasn't meant to be for us."

When asked about semi-finals, Williamson had a recent example to help him disagree. "I think every cricket game you play you look at it as an isolated event," Williamson said. "You accept that when you turn up to the ground you want to play your best cricket, but if the other team plays better then you tend to come second. That's what happened to us. We didn't win. We didn't play the better cricket. England were very very good. As simple as that. We played a semi-final not a long time ago. We went all right. We didn't come second. We came first in that one. That's just cricket. We move on and we look to get better as a team."

The main reason why New Zealand were second-best on the night was they scored just 64 runs in their last 10 overs when they had nine wickets in hand. Two big wickets in this period - Luke Ronchi and Corey Anderson - fell to full tosses that were high enough to be able to get under. Williamson recognised that, but also said England bowled around those breaks to create the pressure.

"That didn't quite unfold the way we would have liked," Williamson said. "Saying that, it's a fine line. A couple of full tosses and maybe other deliveries, when you look back and think a few inches the other way and you get that extra 20 runs. It's a fine line, T20 cricket. Today didn't work out for us the way we would have liked. I think the overall tournament was a real positive. We played some good, consistent T20 cricket and in this format you can always lose one. We came up against a better team today.

"Their death bowling was very good. In between they hit the yorkers really well. By taking those wickets off certain deliveries, that puts you under pressure as a new batter coming to the crease has to try to hit from ball one. That is never easy. They were able to take wickets consistently through that middle to backend period, which meant that stemmed the flow of runs in that death stage. You can look at it in a number of areas, but at the end of the day we just didn't get things right. It wasn't for the lack of trying, it's just a fine line in the game that we play. We will all be better for it. We will move on and be a better team."

In a format that is so result driven that there is no room for even a tied finish, Williamson said it was important to detach yourself from the result. That is perhaps what keeps him calm at the end of what must be a demoralising defeat.

"I think it is very important to be process-driven in this format and play fearlessly," Williamson said. "There is no room for conservative cricket. Saying that, you want to be smart in how you want to execute your skills. Do it as best as you can. Let things unfold to a certain extent. Sometimes in this format the harder you try the worse it can get."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • rob on April 1, 2016, 2:39 GMT

    Sane and mature comments from young KW there. I happen to agree that T20 is the format that is the hardest to recover in if you make a mistake. One decent blunder and you could be gone because there is so little time to re-establish any lost ground. It's a fickle format that usually rewards the team that executes their skills better on the day. On this particular day England did it best so fair result to them. .. I'm not a Kiwi but I think @ J.Vomkreig has the right idea. If they focus on what they've achieved rather than what they've missed out on it seems pretty obvious they've had a good year or two. In test cricket they might not quite have the strength from 1-11 to hold off a really strong side over 4 or 5 tests but in the shorter formats they are definitely very competitive. All in all, a good result for the Kiwi's imo.

  • Jay on April 1, 2016, 1:11 GMT

    I love comments on things like this. NZ played well through group, and got got beaten by a determined English team that played better on the day. That's it. Well done to England for playing well on the day.

    There is no need to sack coaches, change our domestic format, fire a bunch of players, remove Kane from captaincy or any of that garbage suggested here.

    It's t20, sometimes a team just plays better than another one. Learn from the loss and move on.

    If anything NZ did better than many expected to reach the semis with their inexperienced spinners, new captain and no BMac. I see far more positives than negatives from this campaign

    Good luck to the Windies and England for the final, I hope its a great game that goes down to the wire.

  • Wayne on April 1, 2016, 0:01 GMT

    @Shane-Oh. No bleating about the 4-0 result necessary. As you put it, that result will not disappear from the records either. Despite the result of drawing one or two test series, which is far easier than drawing a four or five test series by the way, and the perennial beating of a very modest Sri Lanka or a poor travelling India in green seaming NZ conditions, they haven't really set the world on fire have they? Australia have just beaten you guys and as the records show did not lose to SAF away and only lost 3-2 in England. Our wins at home have been well discussed by many and are acknowledged as being against inferior opposition however we do rank #1 and that is not solely due to playing more tests than say NZ. I don't see the quality in their test side to challenge top rankings however they certainly have improved. Do you honestly believe NZ suddenly could reverse the result against Australia if we did it all again soon once Starc returns to the line up etc? I don't.

  • dheeraj on March 31, 2016, 15:38 GMT

    plz get good coaches and mike hesson back and change ur domestic league structure which aims to produce only hard hitters rather than better player's in strike rotationand players with solid defence and attacking techiques

  • Shane on March 31, 2016, 15:10 GMT

    @AUSSIENSW - the performance of the Aussie bowling unit in the WC final last year was probably the best collective bowling effort I've ever seen in an ODI, so credit to your team for that. As much as it hurt at the time, there's no shame in losing to a side in such top form, at home.

    Your point about the NZ test team, however, is sadly not supported by facts. Their results in tests over the last few years are better than probably anyone else, on balance, and if they played more tests against the "big" nations, they would be ranked far higher than they are. They've been able to achieve things very few, if any, other teams have - such as drawing a test series in England (not bad when there are only two tests), and drawing a series in the UAE. I know you'll bleat about Aussie beating them but the reality is years of good results don't disappear because of one bad one. If they're so terrible at tests, then the various results around the world show that everyone is.

  • Shane on March 31, 2016, 15:03 GMT

    @SAVITHRI RAGHU - if you knew anything about cricket, especially NZ cricket, you would know that the idea that Taylor is past his best is completely ludicrous. But, you may have a point about Ronchi. Might be time to give BJ a go in the short forms I think.

  • TOMMY on March 31, 2016, 12:17 GMT

    @CALVIN PALMER WARBAH Agree with you

  • Kim on March 31, 2016, 12:03 GMT

    New Zealand are a good side, once Guptill, Williamson go without BMcC at 3/4 to keep the runs ticking NZ were always going to struggle. In 20/20 over games one preferably two of the top four (4) batsmen have to come off to set/chase to win. Batsmen in 20/20 over games must play attacking cricket throughout the game, especially in the power play. Bowling team need to bowl to the conditions/pitch have a set plan for the power play, middle overs and at the death. Have to keep extras down 20 wow game is gone like SA vs. England game.

  • risk142007 on March 31, 2016, 11:01 GMT

    @MS.CRICKET - Why not India reach into the final ?? Frankly speaking India and England are deserve to play final. Just because they faced every situation in super 10, they started with huge loss from NZ and WI then they have played very hyper tension match against all opponents and come out as a winner. What else you need from a match winners ? Just because of these two teams matches we are entertained. INDIA AND ENGLAND deserve to be in Final.

  • Prem on March 31, 2016, 9:30 GMT

    West Indies to beat England by 5 runs in the final :)

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