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Sports

June 27, 2019

New Zealand remain buoyant despite Pakistan loss

Sports

Thu, Jun 27, 2019

BIRMINGHAM: Table-toppers New Zealand were having a ball at the World Cup. But that was before they encountered the Pakistani juggernaut.

On a tricky Edgbaston wicket, Pakistan ended New Zealand’s unbeaten run in the World Cup with an impressive six-wicket win on Wednesday.

A win against Pakistan would have secured a semi-final place for the Black Caps. They must be feeling some pressure after failing in what was seen as their first real test in the tournament.

Jimmy Neesham, who hit an unbeaten 97 in the low-scoring match, doesn’t think so.

The talented New Zealand all-rounder stressed that his team wasn’t affected by the loss that came just days before tough games against defending champions Australia and hosts England.

“We will prepare the same way we do for every other game and we’re basically in a situation now where it’s one win from two and we will be in the semi-finals which is obviously our goal,” Neesham told reporters after Wednesday’s game.

“The mood in the dressing room is good, the guys were joking and laughing when I left. We’re not the type of team that take losses really hard. 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.

“Australia are a team that we’ve played a lot over the last two or three years. We know how they go about their game, they’re obviously a very good team but we certainly won’t prepare any differently for them that we would for any other game.”

Neesham made it clear that New Zealand weren’t expecting to go through the group stages of the tournament unscathed.

“There are too many quality teams going around to expect to win every game. We prepared before the tournament that we would probably lose one or two games but for us it’s all about making it to the semi-finals and then you’re only two good games away from lifting the trophy.

“So for us nothing changes, we will prepare for the next game that same way we prepared for the last six,” he said.