Vettori lauds NZ bowlers for braving Brathwaite storm

Daniel Vettori (Getty Images)
Daniel Vettori (Getty Images)

London - Former captain Daniel Vettori has praised New Zealand for holding their nerve as West Indies batsman Carlos Brathwaite launched a blistering Cricket World Cup onslaught.

Brathwaite smashed 101 to take West Indies agonisingly close to victory at Old Trafford on Saturday but was caught by Trent Boult in the deep off the bowling of paceman Jimmy Neesham in the 49th over.

The West Indies were all out for 286, losing by just five runs.

"You're always rooting for your country to win but when you watch someone like Carlos Brathwaite play an innings like that, you can't help but admire what you see," Vettori wrote in his column for the International Cricket Council.

"A West Indies team is always exceptionally talented and they have so many match-winners."

"From a New Zealand perspective, for an innings like that to be needed was testament to the bowling," added Vettori.

Boult returned figures of 4-30 and was ably supported by fellow paceman Lockie Ferguson, who took three wickets.

"Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson proved their worth with seven wickets between them. They put West Indies under pressure early on, particularly Boult, then backed it up in the middle," said Vettori.

"Ferguson's job is to get wickets and he's up to the task. He's got 14 in the tournament now and I really like his style of bowling."

Skipper Kane Williamson set up victory with his second successive World Cup century and a 160-run partnership with Ross Taylor that guided the Kiwis to 291-8.

"New Zealand know that those two are going to be brilliant and that they can rely on them more often than not," said Vettori.

"It's only a matter of time before Martin Guptill and Tom Latham get going in their positions and then they can complement that with a Jimmy Neesham lower down."

All-rounder Neesham chipped in with a useful 28 off 23 balls at number six before bowling six overs for 35 runs and taking the final wicket of Brathwaite.

"In a topsy-turvy game like this, you always try to keep your cool and understand that if you make guys make tough decisions and put the percentages in your favour then you give yourself a chance of coming out on top," said Neesham.

"It was a chance for us to practise a pressure scenario and to come out on the right side is really pleasing."

Unbeaten New Zealand, runners up in 2015, top the World Cup table after six games.

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