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Williamson believes break will revive faltering World Cup campaign
New Zealand News

Williamson believes break will revive faltering World Cup campaign

Kane Williamson hopes a much-needed break ahead of a potential semi-final clash will allow New Zealand the chance to recoup their lost momentum following three consecutive defeats.

New Zealand slumped to another crushing loss against England at Chester-le-Street on Wednesday exposing the inherent weaknesses amongst the Black Caps batting line-up.

New Zealand's win over tournament hosts England would have ensured them a place in the semi-finals, though they still are comfortably positioned to qualify for the final four.

New Zealand began their World Cup campaign on a strong note, maintaining an unbeaten streak for six games including a washout versus India before succumbing to losses to Pakistan and Trans-Tasman rivals Australia.

Williamson's men will take solace from the fact his team have a far superior net run-rate than their competitors Pakistan, who require a ridiculously high margin of victory against Bangladesh to stay in the World Cup.

New Zealand will likely participate in the first semi-final next week and Williamson believes results in the group phase of the tournament would have no bearing on the form exhibited during the knockout stages.

"If we are fortunate to be in a semi-final, then we do have a little bit of a break," he said.

"If you are in a knockout stage where it's a semi-final opportunity, anything can happen.

"We know that we haven't put out our best performance yet and we know when we do it gives us the best chance of beating anybody, without a doubt.

"It is important for us to perhaps have a couple of days away. We sort of have a bit of a break now."

'We were trying to win the game'

New Zealand suffered an early collapse against England rendering their top order completely ineffective as they were at one stage reeling at 69 runs for four wickets in 17 overs.

Thereafter, the conservative approach employed by subsequent New Zealand batters indicated they were merely conducting an exercise of damage limitation as they were eventually bundled out for 186 by the end of the 45th over.

Meanwhile, Williamson dismissed accusations of playing for securing a decent net run-rate to have an advantage over Pakistan.

"We were trying to win the game, but we didn't do a very good job of it," he said.

"We just needed a couple of big partnerships, certainly from the top order and it wasn't there."

New Zealand were jolted by an injury blow even before the game had started as intimidating quick Lockie Ferguson was ruled out of the encounter due to a stiff hamstring.

But Williamson emphasized the right-arm paceman should be able to recover in time for Tuesday's semi-final in Manchester.

"He's been outstanding throughout this whole tournament and a real point of difference for us," said Williamson.

"Did we miss him? Yes. But we'd miss him more if we didn't have him, hopefully, in another game's time.

"He should be fine. It's a fairly minor injury, sort of a light hamstring thing, and he should be okay."