Kane Williamson: Australia 'got momentum and it never changed'

The captain praised his bowlers despite the punishment they copped - as a unit - in the final

Deivarayan Muthu
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson refused to blame his bowling attack and instead credited Australia's batters after they hunted down 173 with considerable ease to win their first-ever T20 World Cup title.
"The bowling attack has been a strong point for us throughout this whole competition," Williamson said. "And you're having to adjust from venue to venue, team to team, and that's the nature of playing in tournament sport.
"And tonight, yeah, you can always look at little bits that you want to do a little bit better. But ultimately the quality was there from Australia and they played really, really well and put us under pressure, and we weren't able to get those breakthroughs. Then you can't build that pressure, and 170 feels like a long way away. But they played really well. They got momentum and it never changed."
Trent Boult aside, the rest of New Zealand's attack missed their lines and lengths, with Ish Sodhi and Tim Southee, in particular, copping heavy punishment.
The Dubai pitch seemed two-paced, especially in the first half, with the ball holding in the surface. New Zealand managed just 32 for 1 in the powerplay - their lowest score in the first six overs in the tournament. Williamson, though, cranked up the tempo and carried them to 172 for 4, with his awe-inspiring 85 off 48 balls.
"[The total was] roundabout par. I guess there's always things that come in and factor, and conditions are a big part of that," Williamson said. "But having said that, with runs on the board and you can build some pressure and you get a few opportunities, things can happen quickly, but wasn't to be tonight.
"It did feel tough. It was just holding in the wicket a little bit. Sort of normal characteristics I think of your Dubai surfaces. It was nice to sort of build a platform and accelerate from there which we were able to do."
Despite the defeat in the final, Williamson was proud of New Zealand's performance in the tournament. Pooled in a group with three Asian sides - Pakistan, India and Afghanistan - who are all more familiar with the UAE conditions, they progressed to the semi-final, where they toppled England, the pre-tournament favourites.
"But you come up against a very strong side in Australia and they are playing very, very well, and they did that again tonight," Williamson said. "You know, if you look at the campaign on a whole, which we do, and the type of cricket that we have been able to play, I can say that we are very proud of our efforts throughout this period of time.
"You get to a final and anything can happen. And all these different fine lines and results, they happen and today, we turned up and played some really good cricket. And it wasn't quite good enough. That's sort of just the way it goes, you know, and for us, it's still putting our energy into the right areas.
"For us, it's still trying to build on the positives and grow as a team. You want to win these comps. You want the fruits, and so did a lot of other teams. When you do turn up on the day, anything can happen, and we can see how competitive this competition has been right through the group stages, as well, and there were so many sides that were more than capable of winning this competition. But like I say, really proud of the efforts that have gone in from our side across the board."

Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo