7 Jun 2024

Black Caps reminded that upsets can happen

12:45 pm on 7 June 2024
Kane Williamson of the Black Caps

Kane Williamson of the Black Caps Photo: PHOTOSPORT

If a team ever needed a reminder to never underestimate an opposition then the Black Caps would have got that Friday.

Kane Williamson's side watched the United States score the first upset of the T20 World Cup with a Super Over victory over former champions Pakistan.

New Zealand open their campaign against Afghanistan on Saturday.

"In these tournaments every team has got really talented players and whether they have experience against Test playing nations or not it's in some ways just on the day," Williamson said.

"It means there is a lot of cricket left in the tournament."

There had been some questions about the quality of the tournament being diluted after it was expanded to 20 nations with the likes of the United States, Canada, Namibia, Nepal, Oman, Papua New Guinea, the USA and Uganda joining the more established nations.

"That sort of exposure is only beneficial for all teams and [shows that] come tournament time anything can happen.

"Ultimately it's great for the growth."

Ish Sodhi of the Black Caps warms up

Ish Sodhi of the Black Caps warms up Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Black Caps were one of the last teams to get started and after almost ten days preparing in Guyana and Williamson said they were keen to get going.

Three matches have been played so far at the Providence Stadium in Guyana with Afghanistan managing the highest score at the ground of 183 for five in a big win over Uganda.

"From the couple of matches that have been played it looks like a reasonable wicket, a good wicket and a fair wicket," Williamson said.

"I think there is a bit there for the bowlers, but equally a decent surface for the batters."

New Zealand was expected to go into the match with at least three slow bowling options but Williamson wouldn't confirm a likely line-up.

"The balance of the squad means that everybody are real options depending on the balance that we want to go with.

"Naturally spin options are important on any surface but we've also seen the ball swing and move around here so we need a balance depending on the opposition so there are a couple of things to marry up."

New Zealand and Afghanistan have only met once before in a T20 international and that was at the World Cup in 2021 with the Black Caps winning by eight wickets.