England came out guns blazing in their must-win T20 World Cup clash against New Zealand on Tuesday night at the Gabba.
Openers Alex Hales and Jos Buttler put the foot on the accelerator from the opening ball as they put the Kiwi bowling attack to the sword.
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But controversy reigned in the fifth over with England sitting at 0/45. The third delivery of Mitchell Satner’s second over was cut in the air from Buttler, 8 runs, with Kane Williamson diving and claiming a stunning catch.
Buttler began to walk off as the umpires came together to discuss if the catch had been taken. Williamson gestured to the umpires he had fumbled, but ultimately held onto the catch.
Replays instantly showed the ball had bobbled out of Williamson’s hands and hit the turf before the Kiwi star clutched the ball to his chest.
Buttler walked back to the crease and as he did Williamson offered up a small apology which the English opener appeared to wave off with a smile.
“You don’t want to be doing that, he’ll make you pay,” Williamson said post-game.
“He played a beautiful knock in a big game. I thought I had squeezed it in my chest, it was a bit embarrassing in the end.”
Fans watching the contest weren’t happy with Williamson claiming the catch, despite him offering up an apology after replays showed he didn’t hold on.
Buttler and Hales continued on their merry way, pushing their partnership to 81 before Satner removed the dangerous Hales shortly after he secured his half century.
If being dropped once wasn’t enough, Buttler was put down in the 12th over on 41 after a pull shot went straight to Daryl Mitchell.
What should have been a fairly easy catch was dropped and hit the turf as the English skipper survived once again.
Buttler made the Kiwis pay in devastating fashion, plundering 65 more runs after Williamson’s catch hit the turf.
He had to depart after trying to pinch a quick single, ultimately stranded and run out by Williamson.