Kane Williamson injury scare as New Zealand beat Bangladesh at Cricket World Cup

Batter retires hurt with freak thumb injury after scoring assured 78 that helped seal eight-wicket win in Chennai

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson receives treatment after being struck on the thumb during the World Cup win over Bangladesh on October 13, 2023. AFP
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Kane Williamson made an impressive return to the crease on Friday as New Zealand beat Bangladesh by eight wickets in the World Cup.

But the batter has given the Black Caps an injury scare after he was forced to retire hurt on 78 following an unlucky blow to the thumb from a fielder's throw.

In his first game back since picking up a serious knee injury during the Indian Premier League in April, captain Williamson produced an assured performance with his knock coming off 107 balls, including one six and eight fours.

But Williamson was left in agony after a freak incident when, after running a comfortable single, the ball thrown in from the deep struck him on the thumb of the top hand, jamming it against the bat handle.

He stayed on after receiving treatment but then left the field with New Zealand having just passed the 200-mark as they closed in on Bangladesh's 249-5 off their 50 overs.

“Not [sure] just yet,” said Williamson of his injured thumb. “It got a bit fat and colourful straight away which made holding the bat difficult. I'll have a scan tomorrow and hopefully it's OK.”

Williamson's exit did not stop New Zealand's stroll to victory, though, as Daryll Mitchell (89 not out) smashed a six to make it three wins out of three and take them top of the table.

“It was a classic team effort from the Black Caps,” said player of the match Lockie Ferguson, who took 3-49 at MA Chidambaram Stadium.

“Everyone bowled well and created pressure throughout. It meant I could come and do my role and fortunately the wicket gave me some assistance today.

“Compared to what we had at Hyderabad this had a little more bounce so I tested it out earlier with the new ball and if it worked I would stick to it. It was a good all-round performance by the boys today. We play Afghanistan here and hopefully it will be a similar wicket.

“It's early stages for sure but it's nice to have three wins. We are enjoying our time here and the group has been great. There's a long way to go and looking forward to the next match.”

New Zealand, runners-up at the 2015 and 2019 World Cups, had already defeated defending champions England as well as outsiders Netherlands in India.

Bangladesh defeated Afghanistan and then lost to England.

Earlier, Mushfiqur Rahim hit a fine half century to lead Bangladesh to 245-9 while veteran Black Caps fast bowler Trent Boult claimed a 200th one-day international wicket.

Mushfiqur made 66 off 75 balls with six fours and two sixes, taking his number of fifties in the format to 48 having also hit a half-century against England three days ago.

The 36-year-old, playing in his 259th ODI, shared a crucial 96-run fourth wicket partnership with captain Shakib Al Hasan (40) to help their team recover from 56-4.

Mushfiqur's brother-in-law Mahmudullah, batting at No 8, added a valuable undefeated 41, while Ferguson did the damage for New Zealand with Boult and Matt Henry claiming two wickets each.

New Zealand comfortably wrapped up their third win in a row with 43 balls to spare. Williamson had put on a second-wicket stand of 80 with opener Devon Conway (45) and then 108 with Mitchell to put side on road to win.

Mitchell finished it in style with a giant heave for six off Bangladesh seamer Shoriful Islam and finished undefeated off 67 deliveries, scoring six fours and four sixes.

Updated: October 13, 2023, 6:03 PM