By Niall Anderson in London
Mitchell Santner watched as teammate after teammate trudged back to the pavilion. He thought the game was getting tighter. He listened to the roar that grew louder.
The lanky left-handed man took a deep breath. Analyzed the situation. Soaked it all in.
And push the limit for winning games.
Santner was a portrait of calmness, while others around him imploded into the cup victory of the Cricket World Cup over Bangladesh by the Black Caps.
Chasen 245 for their second consecutive win to open the tournament, the Black Caps looked forward to a comfortable chase at 160-2, leaving 19 overs.
Then both Kane Williamson and Tom Latham were deeply caught and they played unnecessary high shots. Jimmy Neesham met the same downfall, Colin de Grandhomme played a foolish blow and Ross Taylor nibbled against a delivery from the back.
Suddenly Santner was the only batter left, with Matt Henry walking to the wicket and the pair still needed 27 of 39 balls. Totally the situation to experience in your first World Cup innings.
"Everyone felt the pressure in that phase and I thought we were cruising there for a while," Santner said after the race.
"We didn't need a huge run-rate, so it was about chewing the balls and then trying to knock the bad ball away. Those were the conversations there were – just keep it relaxed and calm in a very tense situation."
No help was the noise of the ever-cheering Bengali crowd.
"It certainly felt like we were the away team today, when they started at the top, it was pretty tough there."
A sea of green and red, there was no doubt about which team supported the Oval crowd, but there was quick doubt as to whether the Black Caps could silence them.
Santner had previously been in these situations, albeit with lower bets. His last six ball had given Chennai Super Kings a victory in the Indian Premier League in April, while in 2016 he had won the winning points in the final of an ODI against Pakistan and against England in 2018.
This right? This was different. This was a World Cup competition on the line and one that he already had a major influence on.
The off-spinner had only allowed 41 points out of his 10 overs, which hit Bangladesh, which could only hit him twice. Add to that the scalp of Mahmudullah, with a wonderfully slow, seductive temptation and some excellent works in the field, and it all became a productive afternoon work.
The only problem? He almost had no partners anymore. Neesham fell four balls after Santner had arrived, and while he comfortably pulled the points from his side, Henry & # 39; s resigned Nr. 10 Lockie Ferguson on strike in the middle of the 47th over, still seven runs needed to win.
Ferguson survived an inside edge on his first ball, blocked the next one firmly, watched two sides fly past and then rushed – or claimed, guided – the last ball of the over to the third man for four.
That brought Santner back on strike with the score level, while the crowd roared for a final twist in the tail.
Not for the first time, Santner stopped them.
. (tagsToTranslate) Sport (t) Cricket (t) Black caps (t) Cricket World Cup (t) International cricket (t) anz sports scene