In a thrilling start to the 2023 ODI World Cup, New Zealand sent shockwaves through the cricketing world by smashing the defending champions, England, in an emphatic display of batting prowess. Chasing a target of 283 runs for victory, New Zealand’s Devon Conway and Rachin Ravindra stole the show by scoring centuries, leading their team to a resounding 9-wicket victory with 82 balls to spare.
The chase began in spectacular fashion as Devon Conway wasted no time in asserting himself, sending the England bowlers on a leather hunt with a flurry of boundaries in the very first over. However, at the other end, Will Young’s golden duck briefly raised England’s hopes. Yet, those hopes were short-lived as Rachin Ravindra, making his World Cup debut, launched a furious assault on the English bowlers.
Ravindra took on Chris Woakes, hammering him for four boundaries, and showed no fear in facing the pace of Mark Wood. New Zealand’s boundary spree continued, amassing 81 runs in the powerplay, leaving England’s bowlers helpless. Even the introduction of spin, with Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid, failed to deter Ravindra, who notched up a 36-ball fifty. Conway joined the party in the following over, setting the stage for an unforgettable partnership.
By the 20th over, New Zealand was firmly in control, leaving England to hope for a miracle. However, no miracle transpired as Conway achieved a brilliant century, followed by Ravindra’s maiden international ton. Conway then decisively sealed England’s fate, leading New Zealand to victory in the 37th over.
In the earlier innings, a weakened New Zealand bowling unit put on an impressive performance, restricting England to 282/9. Despite a promising start by England, New Zealand’s bowlers, including the likes of Matt Henry, made crucial breakthroughs. Jos Buttler and Joe Root led England’s revival, taking advantage of New Zealand’s missing key bowlers, Lockie Ferguson and Tim Southee.
Harry Brook, filling in for Ben Stokes, provided some fireworks but eventually succumbed to pressure. Moeen Ali’s promotion in the batting order also failed, with Glenn Phillips claiming his wicket. Root and Buttler then attempted to steady the ship, and England looked well-placed at 187/4 after 33 overs.
However, Matt Henry returned to dismiss Buttler, and Livingstone’s brief stay at the crease ended with Glenn Phillips claiming another wicket. New Zealand aggressively targeted England’s lower order, eventually reducing them to 252/9. In a historic turn of events, all 11 England batters managed to reach double digits, with Mark Wood and Adil Rashid putting up a fight to reach a total of 282/9.
In the end, it was New Zealand’s day, with Conway and Ravindra’s incredible partnership leading the way. The defending champions, England, have some soul-searching to do as they aim to bounce back in the tournament.
- England: 282/9 in 50 overs (Joe Root 77, Jos Buttler 43; Matt Henry 3/48, Glenn Phillips 2/17)
- New Zealand: 283/1 in 36.2 overs (Devon Conway 152, Rachin Ravindra 123)
- Result: New Zealand won by 9 wickets.