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Williamson's century, Ferguson's back-to-back wickets lead Black Caps to scrappy five-run World Cup win over West Indies


The Black Caps remain undefeated at the Cricket World Cup but they were made to work for it in a rollercoaster contest with the West Indies this morning.

The West Indies won the toss and sent the Black Caps in to bat and got an instant return for it, dismissing both Martin Guptill and Colin Munro for golden ducks in the opening over.

After the horror start, it was once again up to Kane Williamson to anchor the innings and the Black Caps skipper did just that, building a crucial relationship with Ross Taylor to get the Kiwis back on track.

Williamson and Taylor took the Black Caps from 7/2 in the first over to 167/3 in the 35th over with Taylor dismissed for 69.

Williamson continued to work away at the crease though bringing up his second World Cup century three overs later. The Kiwi captain finished up with 148 runs after he was caught in the 47th over with the Black Caps 251/5.

West Indies captain Jason Holder congratulates Kane Williamson on his century. Source: Photosport

A late burst from Jimmy Neesham (28 runs off 23 deliveries), Colin de Grandhomme (16 off six) and Mitchell Santner (10 off five) saw the Black Caps finish up defending 291.

The West Indies' chase was electric from start to finish.

After Trent Boult got the Black Caps off to a great start dismissing Shal Hope and Nicholas Pooran for one-run each in the first seven overs, the West Indies were sitting at 20/2.

But then the Windies got a crucial partnership of their own with Chris Gayle and Shimron Hetmyer getting things back on track with some superb hitting.

The pair combined for a 122-run third wicket partnership and looked to give the West Indies control of the game at 142/2 but Lockie Ferguson stepped up to break it up, using a superb slower ball to beat Hetmyer and send the stumps flying.

Lockie Ferguson celebrates the wicket of Shimron Hetmyer in the Black Caps' World Cup match against the West Indies. Source: Photosport

Ferguson then swung momentum further back to the Kiwis when he dismissed Jason Holder on the next ball. His hat-trick effort was denied with a block.

Gayle looked to take control back but after three drops previously, his luck ran out when Boult caught him for 87.

With Ashley Nurse (1), Evin Lewis (0) and Kemar Roach (14) dismissed in quick fashion, the Black Caps looked to have sealed the match but a late stand by Carlos Brathwaite kept Kiwi fans at Old Trafford on the edge of their seats.

Brathwaite fought his way to half century as he watched teammates fall at the other end but with Sheldon Cottrell at the crease, the Windies wrestled the match back to 49 runs from 42 balls. 

Williamson then turned to Boult and Ferguson to stop the bleeding and the pair delivered, slowing the run rate before Ferguson sent Cottrell back to the clubhouse for 15 runs and leaving the West Indies 245/9. The pacemen met their over limits soon after.

Brathwaite refused to back down though, sending Matt Henry for back-to-back-to-back sixes and pulling the contest back to 13 runs from 14 balls. He followed it up with a four and a single to make it 8 runs from 12 balls.

Neesham stepped in and gave up two runs but when Brathwaite tried to win the match with a six, he came up inches short as Boult caught him on the boundary to win the match by five runs. Brathwaite finished with 101 runs off 81 balls.

Boult finished up with his best figures of the tournament at 4-30 off 10 overs. Ferguson was close behind on 3-52.

The win keeps the Kiwis at the top of the World Cup standings with India the only other undefeated side left in the competition.