Back: Kane Williamson hits out during his halfcentury


KANE WILLIAMSON returned from injury in style to lead New Zealand to victory in their World Cup warm-up with Pakistan at Hyderabad on Friday.

The Black Caps batter hit a half-century in his first match since March, when he suffered an ACL injury while playing in the IPL. Playing as a batter only, Williamson hit 54 off 50 balls before retiring as New Zealand chased down a target of 346.

Rachin Ravindra top-scored for New Zealand, hitting 97 at the top of the order as he shared a partnership of 137 with Williamson. Daryl Mitchell and Mark Chapman also hit half-centuries.

Earlier, Mohammad Rizwan had hit a century for Pakistan, with Babar Azam contributing 80 and Saud Shakeel a 53-ball 75.

Despite his return, Williamson will sit out of New Zealand’s tournament opener against England on Thursday, with his return to be carefully managed. “Right from the start we’ve taken a long-term view on Kane’s return to play,” said Gary Stead, New Zealand’s head coach.

“His recovery is tracking well and it’s now a matter of making sure he can cope with the rigours and intensity of international cricket.

“We’ll continue to take a day-byday approach to Kane’s rehabilitation and certainly won’t be putting any pressure on him to return before he is ready.”

Elsewhere, Bangladesh beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets in their World Cup warm-up game at Guwahati.

The Bangladesh top order of Tanzid Hasan, Litton Das and Mehidy Hasan Miraz all crossed fifty as they chased down 264. Mahedi Hasan took 3-36 for Bangladesh as Pathum Nissanka top-scored for Sri Lanka with 68 off 64 balls.

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