CWC 2023, England vs New Zealand: Rachin Ravindra, Devon Conway's 273-run stand, Matt Henry's 3-48 and Joe Root's 77 are top performances. New Zealand beat England by 9-wickets and move to top of the table.
Brief Scores: New Zealand 283/1 (Conway 152*, Ravindra 123*, Curran 1/47) beat England 282/9 (Root 77, Buttler 43, Henry 3/48) by nine wickets.
Player of the Match: Rachin Ravindra (123* & 1/76)
Reigning champion England from the 2019 ODI World Cup locked horns with the former runners up New Zealand in the opening game of the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup 2023 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
England lag behind 4-5 in head-to-head clashes with the Blackcaps in ODI World Cups. The 2019 final clash was a tied affair.
Talking point: Lack of game practice cost the defending champs
England didn’t play a huge amount of ODI cricket coming into the tournament in the last one year. Except for the recent series against the Blackcaps, there was not much game practice. The English bowlers, especially Mark Wood, looked out of touch. They need to pick up their spirits quickly now.
Powerful New Zealand coasted impressive win over somber England
New Zealand stand-in captain Tom Latham decided to bowl first after winning the toss on a solid batting surface. Ben Stokes missed out with a hip injury, while the injured Kane Williamson was also unavailable for this match.
Batting first, England had a quick start and reached 51/1 in the powerplay. Most of the batters weren’t able to take full advantage of the comfortable start, and it was Joe Root’s steady 43* which pushed them to 135/4 at the halfway mark. Root and Jos Buttler’s 70-run stand advanced them to 221/4 in 40 overs. But the Blackcaps kept on taking regular wickets to restrict England to 282/9 in the assigned 50 overs.
Despite losing the wicket of opener Will Young unfortunately, Devon Conway and Rachin Ravindra put in life in New Zealand’s chase. The duo carried on the attack and enabled the team to reach a score of 81/1 in 10 overs. The duo fired on to 187/1 in 25 overs, and ended the game with an astonishing 273* run second wicket stand which took the Blackcaps home by nine wickets in 36.2 overs.
The top three performances from the opening game between England and New Zealand in CWC 2023:
Exceptional Henry showed his immense accuracy with 3/48
With England getting off to a rapid start, Matt Henry showed his smartness and accuracy in bowling. He drew first blood as the ball nipped away to find the outside edge of Dawid Malan on 14.
Coming back into attack, Henry broke the promising 77-run stand between Buttler and Root - as the former edged the ball that was close to his body.
Further, Sam Curran on 14 was caught by the wicketkeeper off Henry as he was trying to guide the short ball to the third man off the back foot. Henry finished with a figure of 3/48 in 10 overs - including a maiden to now have 133 scalps in 76 ODIs.
Joe Root held one end with his 77-run knock
Joe Root has struggled of late in the 50-over games in the last two years, but he showed his skill on the big stage. Coming at 40/1 in the eighth over, he took a few balls to settle before reverse-scooping Trent Boult over the keeper for a six.
He nudged Jimmy Neesham’s delivery towards the fine leg fence for a boundary before sweeping Rachin Ravindra in the same spot for another four. He completed his 37th ODI fifty by reverse scooping Ravindra in the third man region for a boundary.
Even though wickets kept falling from the other end, the right hander managed to hold one end to reach 77 in 86 balls, hitting four boundaries and one six. He now has 6323 ODI runs in 163 innings.
Conway-Ravindra’s record unbeaten 273 run stand sealed the deal
Despite Conway’s two boundaries through covers against Chris Woakes in the opening over, the Blackcaps lost their first wicket early. Ravindra at number three came in with an aggressive mindset.
Ravindra whipped Woakes for four boundaries to all parts of the ground before pulling Mark Wood for a six. Ravindra also drilled Sam Curran over mid-on for a boundary before smoking Moeen Ali over mid-wicket for a six.
Conway hammered Ali through the extra cover for a four before smoking Adil Rashid over deep mid-wicket for a six. With a single, Conway moved to his fifth ODI century in 83 balls while Ravindra achieved his maiden ODI century in 82 balls.
The unbeaten 273 run second wicket stand took New Zealand over the line. Devon Conway finished with 152 in 121 balls with 19 fours and three sixes to now have 1026 ODI runs in 23 games. Ravindra made 123* in 96 balls with 11 fours and five sixes.
Statistical highlights from England vs New Zeland, Ahmedabad, CWC 2023
Joe Root now has 1049 ODI runs in 26 innings against New Zealand at an average of 47.7 with six fifties and three hundreds.
England have made nine 300+ ODI scores in 21 bat first opportunities since July 15, 2019.
Joe Root is now the highest run getter for England in ODI World Cups with 912 runs in 18 innings going past Graham Gooch (897).
Conway-Ravindra’s 273* run stand is now New Zealand’s highest second wicket stand in ODIs against England.
The 273* run stand between Conway & Ravindra is also New Zealand’s highest partnership for any wicket in ODI World Cups going past 168 for the fourth wicket between Lee Germon & Chris Harris against Australia in 1996.
The 273* run stand is also the second highest for NZ in ODIs.
Points Table scenario & what’s come
With a heavy victory, New Zealand got two points at a NRR of +2.149.
Pakistan will take on Netherlands on October 6 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.