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T20 World Cup 2021 | Looking forward to Afghanistan challenge, says Kane Williamson after New Zealand defeat Namibia

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Kane Williamson scored a steady 28 against Namibia on Friday

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T20 World Cup 2021 | Looking forward to Afghanistan challenge, says Kane Williamson after New Zealand defeat Namibia

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SportsCafe Desk

11/05/2021

Kane Williamson admitted that New Zealand were challenged by Namibia on a tough Sharjah surface on Sunday. After a 52-run win, their third at the T20 World Cup 2021, Williamson now looks forward to the Afghanistan clash on Sunday, which would set up the second semi-final spot from Group 2.

New Zealand found it tough to get going first up, as they were limited to 96/4 in their first 16 overs, after being put in to bat. However, Glenn Phillips (39* off 21) and Jimmy Neesham (35* off 23) gave the Blackcaps a much needed impetus in the final overs to help them finish 163/4.

Namibia never really threatened to pull off the chase, with Tim Southee (2/15) and Trent Boult (2/20), leading an all-round bowling performance. With third win from four Super 12s games, New Zealand are just one victory away from storming into the semis.

Skipper Kane Williamson looked back at what went right on the day, and labelled Afghanistan as a “strong side” ahead of the all important clash in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

“We knew what to expect here, it was a real scrap,” said Williamson after the win. “We tried to maximise the shorter boundary. We got some reasonable match-ups in the end and got what's about par on this wicket. Afghanistan are a really, really strong side, they have done so well in this tournament and have got match-winners throughout their side. So looking forward to playing them.”

Neesham, who struck two sixes and a four during his late blitz earlier and returned to give New Zealand the first breakthrough with the ball, reflected his role as one of team’s premier all-rounders.

“For us it's just about trying to do what we do,” said Neesham, as he received the Player of the Match award. “Trying to set up a good total. We were trying to get bat on ball as much as possible. We knew anything above 150 would be good. My bowling hasn't been required as much in this tournament as we have been going with five frontline bowlers but I am always happy to contribute when called upon.”

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