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NZ Vs PAK: Fit-Again Kane Williamson Takes Spectacular Diving Catch On Return To 2023 ODI World Cup - Watch

After missing four games in the 2023 ODI World Cup due to a thumb injury, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson returned and took a blinder to dismiss Pakistan opener Abdullah Shafique in Bengaluru on Saturday

Kane Williamson celebrates his catch to dismiss Pakistan's Abdullah Shafique in Bengaluru.
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How can one not like Kane Williamson? The Kiwi skipper is one of the most loved cricketers in the international circuit, and for good reason. Apart from his ever-gentlemanly conduct on and off the field, Williamson has an unflappable temperament and a cool head on his shoulders. Despite being one of the best contemporary batters in the business, he is one of the most down-to-earth human being by most accounts. On top of that, the 33-year-old has limitless commitment for his team, and he showed that yet again during the 2023 ODI World cup clash against Pakistan in Bengaluru on Saturday. (Highlights | Scorecard | Report)

Williamson returned to lead the New Zealand side after missing their previous four games due to a freak thumb injury suffered in the game against Bangladesh. This followed his return to competitive cricket after a six-month-long layoff due to knee injury suffered during the first IPL match in March. However, despite the back-to-back injuries, Williamson showed what an asset he is to the team, taking a spectacular catch to dismiss Pakistan opener Abdullah Shafique. You can watch the video of the catch below.

In the second over of the Pakistan innings, Shafique hit an aerial drive over mid-off against Kiwi pacer Tim Southee. The shot seemed to be eluding Williamson, who was running backwards from mid-off in pursuit. But the New Zealand captain ran at full tilt despite his still-somewhat-dodgy knee, and dove full-length to complete a stunning catch.

Social media users marvelled at Williamson's effort, with an Indian cricket lover commenting, "Injuries can't stop this man's efforts for his nation..True leader." A Pakistan fan wrote in admiration, "Williamson you just came back from thumb injury. Thora tou reham khalo hum par (Have some respite on our team)." Another Indian user said the catch reminded him of Kapil Dev's famous running-behind grab in the 1983 World Cup final. Some even felt it was a contender for 'Catch Of The Tournament'.

The catch showed how Williamson never shies away from giving his 100% for the team, even when he is not 100% fit. He demonstrated that during the New Zealand innings too, when he returned to the team in style with a fabulous 95-run knock. Williamson partnered 23-year-old southpaw Rachin Ravindra for a pivotal 180-run partnership to help take his team to a mammoth total of 401/6. The effort went in vain eventually, as Pakistan emerged victors in a rain-curtailed contest. But Williamson proved how much of a difference he can make in New Zealand's World Cup campaign.         

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