Kane Williamson hails ‘brilliant’ New Zealand after World Cup stunner against India

New Zealand's Lockie Ferguson celebrates taking the wicket of India's Bhuvneshwar Kumar as the Kiwis shocked the Old Trafford crowd to reach the World Cup final. (Action Images via Reuters)
Updated 10 July 2019
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Kane Williamson hails ‘brilliant’ New Zealand after World Cup stunner against India

  • Matt Henry and Trent Boult did the damage with the new ball
  • India were in dire straits in their chase when all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja came in at 92 for six

MANCHESTER: Kane Williamson praised New Zealand’s “brilliant fighting effort” as his side reached their second successive World Cup final with a dramatic 18-run win over India on Wednesday.
In a semifinal that went into a second day because of rain, New Zealand ripped through India’s top-order on Wednesday to reduce the two-time former champions to 24 for four.
Matt Henry and Trent Boult did the damage with the new ball as India’s top three of Rohit Sharma, — who came into match having hit a record five hundreds at a single World Cup — captain Virat Kohli and KL Rahul all fell for a single apiece in pursuit of a seemingly modest target of 240.
Henry finished with superb figures of three for 37 from his maximum 10 overs and Boult two for 42.
“A brilliant fighting effort from our guys on another tough surface,” Black Caps skipper Williamson said.
“We wanted 240, 250. Then to have the start with the ball we had was an outstanding way to kick things off and get us into a position of strength.”
Williamson’s 67 in awkward batting conditions on Tuesday, together with fellow senior batsman Ross Taylor’s 74, had provided the cornerstone of New Zealand’s 239 for eight.
India were in dire straits in their chase when all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja came in at 92 for six.
But he went on to make 77 and share a World Cup record seventh-wicket partnership of 116 with veteran wicketkeeper MS Dhoni, who made 50 in support.
Williamson eventually held the catch that ended Jadeja’s counter-attack following a skyer off left-arm quick Boult.
“The innings Jadeja played, it was like he was playing on a different wicket, really. He timed the ball beautifully well,” Williamson said.
Asked what he was thinking when he caught Jadeja, the smiling captain answered: “Someone goes ‘catch it’ and it’s sort of... it’s above me so it must be mine.”
New Zealand came into this match on the back of three straight group-stage defeats by Pakistan, Australia and England.
They qualified fourth on net run-rate while India topped the 10-team group table, making them heavy underdogs against one of the pre-tournament favorites.
“We’ve seen that anybody can beat anybody,” said Williamson, who will now look to lead New Zealand to their first World Cup title against either champions Australia — the team that beat them in the 2015 final — or hosts England at Lord’s on Sunday.
When it was suggested that New Zealand had plunged billions of India fans into a state of mourning, the understated skipper, who has captained the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League, replied: “I hope they’re not too angry.
“Obviously, the passion for the game in India is unrivalled and we are all fortunate to play this sport and have a country like India be right behind it.
“But hopefully we can adopt 1.5 billion supporters and they’ll be supporting us, what do you reckon?
“The game of cricket is fickle in its nature especially when it comes to the white ball and Twenty20 and one-day cricket.
“Today perhaps some of those small margins went our way and it was great that we could get across the line and beat a very strong side.”


Russian boxer Maxim Dadashev dies after fight against Subriel Matias

Updated 23 July 2019
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Russian boxer Maxim Dadashev dies after fight against Subriel Matias

  • Doctors operated to relieve pressure from swelling on his brain
  • Dadashev, known as “Mad Max,” was unable to walk to the dressing room and was immediately hospitalized

MOSCOW: Russian boxer Maxim Dadashev has died from brain injuries sustained in a fight in Maryland, the Russian boxing federation announced on Tuesday.
“Maxim Dadashev has died in the United States following injuries sustained during his fight with Subriel Matias,” the federation said in a statement.
The 28-year-old underwent emergency brain surgery in Washington after his super-lightweight bout with Puerto Rican Matias on Friday was stopped after the 11th round by his cornerman James “Buddy” McGirt.
Dadashev, known as “Mad Max,” was unable to walk to the dressing room and was immediately hospitalized.
Doctors operated to relieve pressure from swelling on his brain.
McGirt, who said after the fight he “couldn’t convince” his fighter to stop but opted to throw in the towel when he saw him “getting hit with more and more clean shots as the fight went on,” told ESPN on Tuesday he was wracking his brain wondering if he could have done things differently.
“It just makes you realize what type of sport we’re in, man,” McGirt told ESPN — which streamed the fight on its ESPN+ platform.
“He did everything right in training, no problems, no nothing. My mind is like really running crazy, right now. Like what could I have done differently? But at the end of the day, everything was fine (in training).
“He seemed OK, he was ready, but it’s the sport that we’re in. It just takes one punch, man.”
Russian boxing chief Umar Kremlev told Russian media that Dadashev’s body would be repatriated home and that his family would receive financial aid.
Dadashev’s widow, Elizaveta Apushkina, also issued a statement, confirming the fighter’s death “with great sadness.”
She said: “He was a very kind person who fought until the very end. Our son will continue be raised to be a great man like his father,” she said of the St. Petersburg-born fighter who trained in Oxnard, California.
Dadashev took an unbeaten 13-0 record into the 140-pound non-title fight.
Dadashev, whose manager Egis Klimas also handles Vasiliy Lomachenko and Sergey Kovalev, turned pro in April of 2016 and relocated to Southern California to pursue his ring ambitions, eventually signing with promoters Top Rank.
Top Rank chairman Bob Arum issued a statement recalling Dadashev as “a terrific young man.”
ESPN, which streamed the bout on ESPN+, also issued a statement.
“Our heartfelt thoughts are with Dadashev’s family, friends, trainers and the team at Top Rank,” the statement said.
Dadashev was rated in the top five by two world sanctioning organizations going into Friday’s fight in suburban Washington DC, an elimination bout for the right to become mandatory challenger for Josh Taylor’s IBF title.
Matias dominated, and after the 11th round McGirt could be heard telling Dadashev “I’m going to stop it, Max,” even as Dadashev shook his head.
McGirt, himself a former two-weight world champion, then told the referee: “That’s it.”