CARDIFF: England captain Alastair Cook was delighted after his team was through to the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy, booking their place with a 10-run win over New Zealand in Cardiff on Sunday.
“We are just glad we are in there and we look forward to the semi-final,” said Cook.
Had they lost, England – yet to win a major 50-overs competition – would have gone out of the tournament.
Cook was named man-of-the-match after he top-scored with 64 in a total of 169 all out in a clash reduced by rain to 24 overs per side, although the left-handed opener was dropped on 14, 37 and 45 by Nathan McCullum, before the off-spinner caught him off his own bowling.
“The ball kept following him around,” said New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, Nathan’s younger brother.“He’s a brilliant fielder and he dropped a couple but he’s still up in terms of his fielding ability.”
In reply, New Zealand slumped to 61 for five, but Kane Williamson (67) and debutant Corey Anderson (30) kept them in the hunt with a partnership of 73.
The Black Caps needed 35 off 17 balls, but both Williamson and Anderson were dismissed as New Zealand were restricted to 159 for eight.
Meanwhile, Cook added, “It was great to get the opportunity to keep it in our hands today, particularly with the rain about. We got a competitive total in the end and I thought we bowled pretty well ... 24 overs, it is a nerve-wracking time for a captain.”
Published in The Express Tribune, June 18th, 2013.
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