After a poor display of cricket in the opener against Bangladesh, New Zealand have shown improvement over the next four matches despite losing the series 3-2. Their captain Tom Latham has been pivotal to both the victories, following up his maiden T20I fifty in the second match with another well-crafted half-century in the fifth T20I.
On Friday, Latham worked his way around a middle-order collapse and launched New Zealand from 83 for 4 in the 11th over to 161 for 5. Latham was on a run-a-ball 29 at one point, but rocketed in the 19th over when he lined up Taskin Ahmed for two sixes and a four in four balls. He eventually finished with an unbeaten 50 off 37 balls.
“It was obviously nice to spend a little bit of time in the middle,” Latham said. “Haven’t played a lot of T20 cricket for New Zealand but also for Canterbury over the last couple of years. For me, it’s just about finding a way in these conditions that are so foreign to us and probably a little bit harder than what we expected. So, for me it’s about, I guess, do the role as best as you can and it was nice I could do that.”
Speaking about the positives, Latham lauded Ben, saying, “To bowl like Ben did – he bowled quite quick, which is nice to see. Someone like him who hasn’t been around in domestic cricket for that long and Finn at the top showed how explosive he can be and got us off to such a good start, which is probably why we got to the score we did.”
At the end of the fourth T20I, in which New Zealand were bowled out on 93, their coach Glenn Pocknall admitted that his side was about ten runs short. Latham said that New Zealand didn’t panic, heading into the final match, and backed themselves to turn in collective team performance.
“For us, it’s about continuing what we’ve been doing and in the last three-four games we were very close to putting it altogether,” Latham said. “We didn’t want to change things too much and we just knew we had to be better for a little bit longer. It was nice the guys were able to go out there and play with freedom today and one put a good score on the board but also bowl really well to defend a good score. So, certainly very pleasing getting into the Pakistan series.”
Avishkar Govardhane is a Sports Editor and enthusiast, working here at Clout News covering the latest Cricket News.