Kane Williamson has come under fire from cricket fans after a controversial moment in New Zealand's clash with England at the T20 World Cup.
Jos Buttler powered England to a crucial 20-run victory on Tuesday night, benefiting from two dropped catches to muster 73 off 47 balls at the Gabba.
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One of the dropped catches proved highly controversial after Kiwi skipper Williamson initially suggested he'd hung onto the ball cleanly despite it hitting the ground.
Williamson was running back for a high ball when he made a desperate lunge and bobbled the ball in his hands.
The ball eventually hit ground before bouncing back into Williamson's grasp, leaving the captain unsure about whether he'd caught it or not.
Williamson suggested to the umpires that he might have caught it, but was left highly embarrassed when replays showed the ball had clearly hit the turf and the third umpire ruled it not out.
To his credit, Williamson apologised to Buttler after seeing the replays, but cricket fans quickly accused the New Zealand skipper of 'cheating'.
I’m not sure Kane Williamson can possibly think he caught that. It wasn’t in any part of his hand when it bounced
— Tyrone Marshall (@TyMarshall_MEN) November 1, 2022
England have been cheated of a run there. Always something with these Kiwis.
— daniel norcross (@norcrosscricket) November 1, 2022
Gentleman?Kiwis are the good guys? Shameful act from Kane Williamson to say the least. pic.twitter.com/rG9AgclmIV
— Siddharth (@breakingbadass) November 1, 2022
— Cricket Cheating Academy (@cheatingacademy) November 1, 2022
Cheating in sport is disgraceful and should be banned/punished.
Kane Williamson clearly drops a catch and England review the Put decision but Kane should have told the umpire he hadn't caught it. Now we know he is of dubious character.#T20WorldCup2022 #engvsnz
— Sport In Short (@SportInShort) November 1, 2022
Speaking after the match, Williamson said: "I thought I had squeezed it in my chest, it was a bit embarrassing in the end.
“You don’t want to be doing that, he’ll make you pay. He played a beautiful knock in a big game."
Aussies facing elimination after England beat NZ
Now equal on points but well ahead of Australia on net run-rate (0.547 to -0.304), victory for England against Sri Lanka on Saturday should be enough to see them progress to the final four.
Australia are still a chance though, needing to beat Afghanistan by enough to make up the net run-rate difference or hope Sri Lanka upset Buttler's men in Sydney.
The exact equation is hard to determine given different totals impact the net run-rate differently, however Australia would need to beat Afghanistan by roughly 60 runs or six overs faster than England beat Sri Lanka.
"We've just got to wait and see exactly what happens, but there is a benefit having the last game, knowing what's required of us," Buttler said of their predicament.
"It's a big relief heading to that last game knowing we have a chance of progressing. It would have been a tough flight if we'd lost today, especially.
"But we showed great character in a must win match and will arrive with confidence."
New Zealand's loss means they too are yet to secure safe passage, but also equal on points and boasting a 2.233 net run-rate they're far more secure ahead of a clash with Ireland.
Buttler said his side had been itching to play after a wash-out against Australia and loss to Ireland had hampered their campaign.
"That felt like such a long break (between games), we were desperate to get out there and show how good we are as a team," he said.
Buttler's knock helped England to 6-179 from their 20 overs, before he snared a wonderful diving catch down the leg-side as New Zealand's chase began horribly.
There was another twist though with Glenn Phillips (62 off 36 balls) benefiting from a shocking Moeen Ali dropped chance to give New Zealand a pulse.
But with 61 still needed off 30 balls, England steadied as New Zealand finished on 6-159 in front of 22,547 fans in Brisbane.
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