T20 WC: Rutherford lauded by WI skipper Powell

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | June 13, 2024 IST

Sherfane Rutherford

Trinidad, June 13: It was yet another nail biting contest in the ongoing ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024. Hosts West Indies were up against the most consistent sides of the ICC World Cups and they held their nerves  to beat New Zealand in a cliff-hanger.

After the nervy contest on Wednesday, Caribbean skipper Rovman Powell admitted that Sherfane Rutherford's unbeaten 68 was the game-changer in West Indies' narrow victory over New Zealand to advance to the Super Eight stage of the T20 World Cup.

Coming in to bat with West Indies reeling at 22 for 4 inside the power-play, Rutherford was the hero for the home side, producing one of the innings of the tournament to help the hosts set a strong target of 149/9 at Brian Lara Stadium on Thursday (as per IST).

"We told the guys that somebody has to play a blinder. It wasn't going to be an easy wicket because of the inclement weather. We always believe that individual brilliance in T20 cricket is needed sometimes, and Sherfane's innings was a fantastic knock. It gave us confidence, and at the halfway mark, we believed,' said Powell after the match.

Rutherford's calculated assault began after he had cautiously worked his way to 31 off 27 balls. In the 19th over, he targeted Daryl Mitchell, smashing three sixes that added 19 crucial runs to the total. He continued his aggressive approach in the final over, this time against left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner, hitting two fours and a six.

"The margins in the match are fine and in conditions like that, two or three balls where the match-up suits, that can be the difference. We saw a fantastic knock from Rutherford and he certainly timed it beautifully and got his match-up. I think at the end of the day, that was the difference," he added.

Despite not getting any game time with the IPL-winning Kolkata Knight Riders, Rutherford was preferred over Shimron Hetmyer for this crucial match. His impactful innings against a seasoned New Zealand bowling line-up further validated the decision.

Reflecting on his preparation, Rutherford said, "I was in the IPL for two months, so you know I was preparing (there) even though I wasn't playing. I did a lot of work and planning. Keeping it simple and backing myself - that was the key."

Rutherford's plan was straightforward but effective. "I was just telling myself to take it deep. Me and(Daren) Sammy had a talk and he said: 'try and take it deep'. The deeper I went, I started feeling momentum and I thought I could always make up in the end."

Even prior to their Wednesday clash against the Black Caps, Powell had said that if there was a time to play formidable New Zealand, then it was the right opportunity. Powell had pointed out that the Kiwis, who always are a well balanced side and do well in ICC multination tournaments, appear to be bit rusty this time. (With IANS support)

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