Williamson lauds Ronchi impact

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson was thrilled with the impact of wicketkeeper batsman Luke Ronchi who was sent up the order in their Champions Trophy opener.

New Zealand made 291 all out with Williamson himself topscoring with exactly 100 in a rained off match against Australia at Edgbaston.

Williamson shared a 77-run stand with Ronchi for the second wicket with the keeper smashing 65 off 43 balls.

The man deputizing for regular opener Tom Latham got off to a sluggish start before hitting his straps eventually clearing the rope three times and smashing nine fours, ending with more boundaries than the skipper.

Martin Guptill had looked the more fluid of the openers hitting 26 off 22 balls before cheaply surrendering his wicket while trying to flick Josh Hazlewood to leg.

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Williamson said after the match: “I thought the opening partnership from us was very, very good.

“And put them under a bit of pressure on a good batting surface.

“I thought Ronchi was outstanding setting the tone today. Martin Guptill as well. That was a very good partnership at the top of the order against a very good bowling attack. It was a great effort by Luke and very good innings.”

Williamson was frustrated that rain brought an end to the game prematurely with the Black Caps well on top having reduced Australia to 53 for 3.

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He said: “The nature of this tournament is that every game is basically knockout.

“We played some good cricket and we can’t control the weather. Although it is a little bit frustrating.”