The overseas leg of the NZ cricket team build-up to the World Cup is complete, and beating Pakistan away in a bilateral ODI series is something not many people saw coming. Therefore it’s time to update those annoying player rankings are taking shape, slightly faster than the final 15 itself is.
The leaders at the top of the table are now Kane Williamson and Matt Henry who were dominantly consistent in this series. At the start of the year Williamson broke the NZ record for most runs in an ODI series. In December, he broke the NZ record for an away series. He has now passed 50 eight times in his last 10 ODI innings, which is an extraordinary statistic.
The fourth ODI was another one of those eerie affairs; coming the day after the tragic and brutal slaying of schoolchildren in Peshwar. An opening stand of 81 set it up, before Williamson times his assault perfectly. His 123, out on the final ball of the innings earned the three points, while Guptill’s 58 at the top of the innings earned his first point of these scientific rankings; although his Strike Rate remains a worry from the team’s perspective.
Pakistan put in a spirited reply, but every time they got something going that wily old Dan Vettori would pop up with a wicket, taking 3-53, confirming his place in the World Cup squad, and picking up two vital points in these rankings.
The final match, the decider, was more emphatic. Once again it was Williamson and Taylor who reminded us just how consistent they have become. And the skipper also showed how selfless he is; there was an easy century there for the take, but he know it was time for the foot to go down.
The three points go to Matt Henry, who took his bowling to another level in this match. He’s been good at the top of the innings all series but he succeeded in the Batting Powerplay in picking up his debut 5WI.
A career of six ODIs; and four + wicket bags in three of them.
The other New Zealander to take a 5WI in an ODI in 2014? Corey Anderson