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Pakistan vs New Zealand | We're Not a Team That Take Losses Really Hard: Neesham

I think you'd be pretty naive to expect to go through the whole tournament unbeaten. There are too many quality teams going around to expect to win every game.

AFP |June 27, 2019, 3:34 AM IST
Pakistan vs New Zealand | We're Not a Team That Take Losses Really Hard: Neesham

All-rounder Jimmy Neesham is confident that New Zealand's defeat against Pakistan in Birmingham on Wednesday will not derail their World Cup bid.

The 2015 runners-up lost by six wickets to a resurgent Pakistan, on the back of a brilliant unbeaten 101 by Babar Azam and three wickets from teenage paceman Shaheen Shah Afridi.

"I think you'd be pretty naive to expect to go through the whole tournament unbeaten," said the 28-year-old Neesham. "There are too many quality teams going around to expect to win every game.

"We prepared for a tournament where we'd probably lose one or two games, but for us it's all about making it to the semi-finals, and you're only two good games away from lifting the trophy. So for us nothing changes.

"We'll prepare for the next game the same way we've prepared for the last six," said Neesham, whose team next play Australia at Lord's on Saturday, with their final game against hosts England on July 3.

Neesham led New Zealand's fightback with a career-best undefeated 97 to lift them from a precarious 83-5 to 237-6 in their 50 overs at Edgbaston but they went down to their first defeat of the tournament.

Victory would have seen Kane Williamson's team become the second team to qualify for the World Cup semi-finals after defending champions Australia.

Despite the setback New Zealand, who have never won the World Cup, are still well-placed, second in the 10-team table on 11 points from seven games and Neesham suggested that the mood in the camp was pretty upbeat.

"The mood in the dressing room is good. Guys were joking and laughing when I left. We're not the type of team that takes losses really hard. I think we'll have a couple of beers tonight as a team and kind of talk about how that game went, and then we'll pretty much park it, and we'll hit our scouting tomorrow morning pretty fresh," he quipped.

"Australia are a team we played a lot of over the last two or three years. We know how they go about the game. They're obviously a really good team. But we certainly wouldn't prepare for them any differently than we would any other game."

Neesham added 132 for the sixth wicket with fellow all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme (64), to take New Zealand to a respectable score. However, the early wickets put a brake on the scoring and that the all-rounder felt was a significant moment in the game.

"I think probably being 46-4 was a pretty significant moment in the game," said Neesham of New Zealand's bad start, caused mainly by Shaheen's burst of three wickets in 20 balls.

"I think Pakistan's bowling was obviously really impressive. We sort of try and dig ourselves out of that hole and that took a lot of doing, but I think we potentially got to a score that was defendable."

Neesham further stated that the fourth-wicket stand of 126 between Babar and Haris Sohail (68) had taken the game away from New Zealand.

"Obviously, the way Babar and Sohail batted didn't allow us to get some momentum and try to get into their middle order and that was the difference," he added.

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5046 120
2 Australia 4320 108
3 England 5253 105
4 New Zealand 3449 105
5 South Africa 3537 98
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6967 124
2 India 7939 118
3 New Zealand 5347 116
4 South Africa 5442 111
5 Australia 5854 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8926 270
2 Australia 6986 269
3 England 6095 265
4 India 12141 264
5 South Africa 5248 262
see more