Lockie Ferguson’s Outstanding Performance Helps New Zealand Dominate PNG in T20 World Cup

Lockie Ferguson showcased his exceptional bowling skills, securing impressive figures of 4-4-0-3 in a thrilling T20 World Cup match against Papua New Guinea.

He was the second bowler in a Twenty20 International to deliver four maidens as New Zealand defeated PNG by seven wickets.

Lockie Ferguson’s Outstanding Performance Helps New Zealand Dominate PNG in T20 World Cup
Trent Boult, Kane Williamson and Tim Southee in frame. @ICC/Getty Images

Papua New Guinea 78 (Amini 17, Ferguson 3-0, Southee 2-11, Boult 2-14) lost to New Zealand 79 for 3 (Conway 35, Mitchell 12*, Morea 2-4) by seven wickets.

With a commanding victory over Papua New Guinea, New Zealand concluded a dismal Twenty20 World Cup 2024 campaign. At Tarouba’s Brian Lara Stadium, they managed to chase down a meager goal of 79 with seven wickets and forty-six balls remaining.

With 3 for 0 in his four overs, Lockie Ferguson epitomized the magnitude of the disparity. After Canada skipper Saad Bin Zafar accomplished the milestone in 2021 when he returned 2 for 0 against Panama, the speedster from New Zealand became just the second bowler to deliver four maidens in a Twenty20 International match.

Ferguson was accurate and precise, but PNG’s batsmen had a difficult time handling the pitch’s wetness and the residual moisture from the morning storms, which caused the toss to be postponed by an hour. After winning the toss, Kane Williamson chose to introduce the opposition, who were 16 for 2 following the powerplay, primarily due to the weather.

Before being pinned leg before wicket for Ferguson’s second of the innings, Charles Amini scored the highest score of the innings (17) during the most fruitful partnership of 27 for the third wicket with Sese Bau.

In his final T20 World Cup encounter, Trent Boult returned to bowl his final two overs at the end of the game and went on to pocket two wickets. In his debut encounter of the competition, Ish Sodhi replaced Jimmy Neesham in the XI and went on to pick up a brace, capturing the last wickets of PNG in the 20th over before they were bowled out with two balls remaining in their innings.

However, PNG had no intention of giving up without a fight. After playing the opening match against the West Indies, Kabua Morea returned to the starting lineup and removed Finn Allen, caught behind, off the second ball of New Zealand’s innings. Then, at the beginning of the fifth over, he pocketed Rachin Ravindra after the left-hander attempted and failed to lift over deep midwicket.

Semo Kamea’s trapping of Devon Conway on the crease added to the atmosphere on the field. But his 35, which contained three sixes and two fours, had lessened the bite of the chase. The highest partnership of the tournament for New Zealand was shared by Conway and Williamson, who scored 34 runs for the third wicket.

Following the formalities, Williamson and Daryl Mitchell scored the final 25 runs from 18 balls to give New Zealand their second victory and condemn PNG to a fourth loss.

First wicket of the match: more pace across Assad Vala to encourage a drive. much a little more bounce was present, which just made Mitchell’s catch at a wide first slip much more difficult. Ferguson was put in lockdown after that.

Did he know he was about to earn a spot in the record books? Most likely not. Ferguson was poised to emerge with amazing stats, though, given his movement through the air and off the deck and his quick pace, which was always going to pose impossible dilemmas for a restricted PNG batting lineup.

After Vala was dismissed, the 33-year-old was mostly across the wicket to the left-handed Bau. Ferguson reappeared for his 12th over from that angle, having switched to over the wicket halfway through his second over (the seventh). He was rewarded instantly, when a delivery into Amini’s pads skidded on with the angle so sharply that it was first declared not out on the field.

Also Read: Shaheen and Babar Secure Pakistan’s Nervy Win Against Ireland in T20 World Cup

Before Ferguson took matters into his own hands and whacked Chad Soper’s stumps for his third, DRS fixed that error. Subsequently, the bowler was not penalized for two leg byes to deep third, and the last three deliveries were counted down by the commentators, who were now completely absorbed in the moment they were seeing.

Kiplin Doriga’s ill-advised draw nearly ended the run, but it also might have been caught at mid-off. The right-hander then attempted a vain attempt to attack Ferguson’s last delivery. Ferguson appeared rather shy as his teammates gathered to offer their congratulations. But now there’s a noteworthy anecdote to an otherwise dull T20 World Cup. Despite their heroic performances in their second T20 World Cup, PNG’s batting gives cause for reflection on what could have been. especially after Ravindra and Allen were caught early.

Lockie Ferguson’s Outstanding Performance Helps New Zealand Dominate PNG in T20 World Cup
As the batter tries to take him on in his last World Cup encounter, Trent Boult is beaming. @ICC/Getty Images

Their final score of 78, which comes after totals of 95 against Afghanistan and 77 against Uganda, emphasizes the shortcomings of their hitters. Given that they had faced 55 dot balls when they set up that evening in Guyana, even their 136 for 8 against the West Indies appeared light at the midway point.

They were unable to muster a run from the remaining 58 balls that the New Zealand assault gave, not even accounting for the 23 deliveries from Ferguson that yielded no runs. Though more effort could have been put into it, the conditions were unfavorable to batters throughout, especially for those trying to hold off Tim Southee and Boult’s new ball combination on a new track with unpredictable bounce.

especially in opposition to Mitchell Santner. The left-arm spinner gave up very few boundaries despite flopping up a lot. It waited until Santner’s last delivery for someone to get one on him, as Doriga smeared a sweep shot to midwicket for four. Perhaps rattled by Bau lifting Santner into the hands of long on.

Of all, considering New Zealand’s obvious advantage, this encounter hardly qualifies as a wasted chance. However, it did act as a wake-up call to the flaws that cost them the match against Uganda and let the West Indies off the hook.

Morea had a 15-day gap between appearances at this T20 World Cup. The left-arm seamer was expected to provide a crutch for the attack for the next two weeks when he opened the match against the West Indies. After three overs, he finished with figures of 0 for 30, the last of which went for 13 as Roston Chase took advantage of two full tosses to get the hosts over the finish line with an across remaining.

PNG decided to go with a more spin-heavy attack in the next two games, with Morea missing both of them. Although Morea was the team’s top wicket-taker in the 2021 tournament, he would have every right to regard himself as an unfortunate victim of this change in circumstances.

But he took advantage of this chance in Tarouba to end the World Cup on a rather positive note, going home with figures of 2 for 4 from 2.2 overs. With the second ball, Allen took a wicket thanks to a rash hack. The Kiwi No. 3 welcomed Ravindra’s reappearance for the fifth over with a valiant charge and swipe that tucked into Kamea’s deep hands after tying him down for the remainder of the first over.

This is when the rain started to come back. Williamson hit a single from the first ball to bring New Zealand to 20 for 2, even with the five-over par total. Morea had amassed figures of 2 for 2 from his opening two overs, and it was the lone run off the over. It turned out that play continued even in the rain.

Ferguson’s adventures garnered more media attention than Morea’s 11 dots, but Morea’s performance against a considerably more formidable and competitive New Zealand batting lineup was still outstanding.

Unlocking Lockie Ferguson’s Incredible Bowling Feat at T20 World Cup 2024

Saad Bin Zafar of Canada is the only bowler to have bowled four maiden overs in a men’s T20I, but never at the World Cup.

Fast bowler Lockie Ferguson of New Zealand is the first bowler to deliver four maiden overs in a period at a men’s T20 World Cup and the second in T20Is.

Lockie Ferguson’s Outstanding Performance Helps New Zealand Dominate PNG in T20 World Cup
Photo Credit: ESPNcricinfo Ltd

In the final group-stage encounter of New Zealand’s T20 World Cup 2024 campaign against Papua New Guinea on Monday, he concluded with incredible numbers of 4-4-0-3. This is also New Zealand’s last game in the competition; after losing against Afghanistan and the West Indies, they were eliminated.

Saad Bin Zafar of Canada is the only other bowler to have accomplished the feat; he completed with a 4-4-0-2 against Panama in a 2021 T20 World Cup Americas Region Qualifier at Coolidge.

After a weather delay caused New Zealand to field in Tarouba, Ferguson entered the field in the fifth over and had PNG captain Assad Vala caught at first slip with his opening ball. He bowled six dots to Sese Bau, the new batter, to keep him quiet for the remainder of the over. He repeated the feat in the seventh over.

He came back to bowl the twelfth over, and on the second ball struck, pinning Charles Amini for 17 with a length ball that stayed low; the ball was declared not out, but a review revealed it had struck the stumps. Then, on the second delivery of his final over—the 14th of the innings—Ferguson took his third and last wicket when Chad Soper edged one on to his stumps for one. Although PNG scored two runs in that over, they were leg-byes.

Ferguson was named Player of the Match. “Obviously a tough wicket to bat on, so nice from my point of view to get on a wicket like that,” Ferguson commented on the official broadcast following the game. “There was some swing, which was nice today too.”

After a period of rain, the game began, and New Zealand held PNG to 78 runs in 19.4 overs.

Kane Williamson’s Future in T20I Cricket Post New Zealand’s T20 World Cup Exit

Kane Williamson, the stalwart captain of New Zealand’s cricket team, is contemplating his future in T20 International (T20I) cricket following New Zealand’s disappointing exit from the T20 World Cup. Amidst speculations about his potential participation in the next T20 World Cup in 2026, Williamson remains non-committal, emphasizing the need for the team to regroup and focus on upcoming international formats.

As Williamson approaches the age of 34 and with his long-time teammate Trent Boult bidding farewell to T20 World Cups, the cricketing landscape for New Zealand is undergoing a transition. Williamson, a cornerstone of New Zealand’s success across formats, is considering various factors that may influence his decision, including his impactful Test cricket performances, upcoming Test series against India and England, and personal priorities.

Former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming provided insights into Williamson’s decision-making process, highlighting the shifting priorities as Williamson nears the twilight of his illustrious career. Fleming emphasized that Williamson’s decisions could be influenced by family time, franchise cricket opportunities, and his desire to continue excelling in international cricket.

Reflecting on New Zealand’s T20 World Cup campaign, Williamson acknowledged the challenges faced against formidable opponents like Afghanistan and West Indies. Despite the disappointment, Williamson noted the valuable learnings gained from playing in challenging conditions, which will benefit the team in future tournaments.

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