New Zealand paceman Matt Henry might not have been Kane Williamson’s first choice to share the new ball with Trent Boult at the ICC World Cup but he has quickly sealed his berth in the side with his performances. He is currently the second-highest wicket-taker for the Black Caps behind Lockie Ferguson with seven wickets in four games at an average of 22.85.
A surprise selection in the Kiwi World Cup squad, Henry was picked in the side because of his performances for Kent in County cricket where he picked up more than 70 wickets in the last season. Henry was hard to get away in New Zealand’s game against South Africa at Edgbaston on Wednesday (June 19) and it was only Rassie van der Dussen’s hitting in Henry’s final over — which leaked 15 runs — that spoiled his figures.
“Obviously it was a slow-natured wicket. And I think it was important for us that we take it a little bit differently. Making sure we could apply a lot more pressure. We bowled dot balls and tried to restrict their run-rate, create pressure and got wickets,” Henry told the media in the ICC mixed zone in Edgbaston.
“We needed to be disciplined on this wicket. It was always going to be challenging from a batting point of view. We were just trying to apply pressure through drying up runs by taking pace off as well. South Africa took pace off very early as well and that made it a tough chase,” the Kiwi paceman added.
Henry praised his skipper Kane Williamson for his calm century under pressure which guided his side home to a comfortable win.
“It was an incredible innings by Kane. He lost a few unfortunate wickets early and for Kane to soak up the pressure and create partnerships was great. Then Colin coming to the crease and scoring a quick-fire fifty was important from the context of the game. He took a lot of pressure off Kane as well,” Henry said about Williamson and Colin de Grandhomme.
“It’s great when you have someone like Kane in your side. South Africa have a very good bowling attack, they applied a lot of pressure in different situations and the game ebbed and flowed a lot. We got out through good partnerships in the end,” he added.
Henry along with Boult and Ferguson has been among the wickets to make sure the Black Caps have stayed unbeaten in the tournament so far and are now at the top of the table.
Asked if they are the best attack so far in the World Cup, Henry said, “Every ground we are going to be faced with different challenges. It’s important to adapt on every wicket that we play on. Every game has been a little bit different and we have attacked a little bit differently.”