WORLD T20: Rutherford and bowlers take West Indies to Super Eight

West Indies 149 for 9 (Rutherford 68*, Boult 3-16, Southee 2-21) beat New Zealand (Phillips 40, Joseph 4-19, Motie 3-25) by 13 runs

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A sensational rescue effort from Sherfane Rutherford set up a third win on the trot for West Indies in the T20 World Cup 2024 while putting New Zealand on the verge of elimination at the Brian Lara stadium in Tarouba. With the win, the co-hosts have also secured a spot in the Super Eight.

New Zealand’s fast bowlers dictated proceedings in the powerplay to have West Indies four down in the first innings. Rutherford found little support as West Indies slid to 112 for 9 after 18 overs, but he plundered 37 runs off the last two overs to take the co-hosts to 149.

Alzarri Joseph, Gudakesh Motie and Akeal Hosein then stepped up with the ball, as New Zealand slumped to their second defeat in as many games.

Rutherford stands tall at the death

Rutherford found himself in unfamiliar territory thanks to West Indies’ top-order collapse, coming in to bat in the sixth over. Only for the second time in his T20I career, he faced a ball in the powerplay.

But he vied his time in his partnerships with Hosein, Andre Russell and Romario Shepherd. For long, his only two boundary shots were two sixes off drag-downs from Mitchell Santner and James Neesham before he finally let loose in the last two overs.

Gudakesh Motie is on cloud nine after dismissing Kane Williamson•Jun 12, 2024•ICC/Getty Images

New Zealand took a gambit in using up their best frontline bowlers early and ended up giving Daryl Mitchell the penultimate over and Santner the last.

The plan nearly paid off, with West Indies having just one wicket in hand after the 18th over. But Rutherford resisted as he first tore into Mitchell, hitting him for back-to-back sixes down the V’ before depositing the ball over the fine-leg fence for a third six in the over.

He then hit Santner for two fours and a majestic six slog-swept from wide of off over wide long-on, on the way to a 33-ball half-century.

The 37 runs off the last two overs helped take West Indies to 149, a score that seemed unattainable for almost all of their innings. (ESPNcricinfo)

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