New Zealand’s Kane Williamson finds World Cup final defeat to England ‘hard to swallow’

Kane Williamson branded New Zealand’s World Cup final defeat to England due to an inferior boundary count ‘hard to swallow’.

The Black Caps skipper saw his side edged out by England after a tied Super Over, the World Cup’s version of extra time, at Lord’s on Sunday.

England clinched the trophy by virtue of hitting more boundaries, where the sides were tied on 241, with the Super Over stint also tied on 15 runs apiece.

New Zealand lost their second straight World Cup final – having also been beaten by Australia in 2015 – to leave Williamson lamenting the ‘uncontrollables’ of his side’s defeat.

Asked if he felt the Super Over rules were fair, Williamson said: “I never thought I’d have to answer that question. While the emotions are raw, it’s pretty hard to swallow.

“Two teams have worked really hard to get to this moment in time.

“So when two attempts to separate them with a winner and a loser still didn’t perhaps shine, it just is what it is.

“The rules are there are the start. No-one probably thought we’d have to resort to that. But it was a great game of cricket.”

Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes’ match-high 110-run partnership dragged England from 86-4 to 241 all out.

Stokes could so easily have been dismissed when he appeared to hole out to Trent Boult on the boundary rope late on.

Boult stepped on the rope in fielding the catch, however, and the Kiwi quick had the sportsmanship to admit his crucial transgression.

Stokes wound up on 84 not out before he and Buttler steered England to 15 in the Super Over.

New Zealand matched that Super Over tally, meaning the destiny of the trophy was decided on boundary count, with England’s 26 trumping the Black Caps’ 17.

England’s eventual 241 also involved another controversial moment, when Martin Guptill’s shy at the stumps deflected off Stokes’ bat for four byes.

Quizzed on that incident, Williamson said: “The rule has been there for a long time.

“I don’t think anything like that has ever happened. But you can’t look at that and think perhaps that decided the match.

“There were so many other pieces to that game that were so important.

“It was a pretty tough pill to swallow that. We were looking pretty likely with Trent bowling pretty well.

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