Frustrated Williamson has no concerns over Black Caps' middle order
Kane Williamson has no concerns about New Zealand's middle order despite conceding a stumble with the bat cost the Black Caps in an ODI thriller against England.
Captain Williamson hit a brilliant century as New Zealand attempted to chase down England's 234 but, despite taking it to the final ball, the tourists earned a four-run win to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.
New Zealand had been well set at 80-1 before the loss of Colin Munro ended a 68-run stand with Williamson and began a collapse that saw the hosts slip to 103-6.
A 96-run partnership between Williamson and Mitchell Santner brought New Zealand back into the match, but the skipper rued their blip.
"It's very frustrating. Credit to England, they had to assess and get a good total at the halfway stage," he said at the post-match presentation.
"They deserved the win. We stumbled a bit in the middle and it hit us, it meant we had to get deeper in the game.
"This is kind of why we chose to bowl - we weren't sure how the wicket would play. The bowling unit did a good job, but it was a competitive total from them. We started well and stumbled.
"Santner did well. We sort of knew hitting would be difficult. Our plans kept changing as we lost wickets.
"They deserved to win, it's just a shame we got so close. There's a few deliveries you have in your mind, but when they're executed well, you can't hit them. I've got no concern about the middle order, no.
England captain Eoin Morgan paid tribute to "spin twins" Moeen Ali (3-36) and Adil Rashid (2-34) for limiting New Zealand, while crediting Chris Woakes, who ensured Williamson's side did not score the 15 required off the last over.
"It was a brilliant game of cricket, again. We took a huge amount of commitment and overthinking to assess this pitch," he said.
"We knew we would've been in the game if we got somewhere between 220-240. Our spin twins did a fantastic job on a wicket that offered some turn.
"The pressure shifted a little bit with the Williamson-Santner partnership. It was a very tight game, could've gone either way. I think it's important for the game. It can't be crash bang wallop.
"When there's something on offer for everybody, it rejuvenates everyone. Woakes is Mr Reliable, he's defended 13 against [India's MS] Dhoni for us. He's a bit of an unsung hero for us with bat and ball."