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New Zealand annihilate defending champions England in World Cup opener as Conway, Rachin Ravindra smash tons

New Zealand chased down 283 runs in just 36.2 overs as they left the defending champions England high and dry in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 opener at Ahmedabad's Narendra Modi Stadium. Devon Conway and Rachin Ravindra's record-breaking stand helped New Zealand start the tournament on a high.

Anshul Gupta Written By: Anshul Gupta @oyegupta_ New Delhi Updated on: October 05, 2023 21:46 IST
Devon Conway and Rachin Ravindra's centuries helped New
Image Source : AP Devon Conway and Rachin Ravindra's centuries helped New Zealand beat England comprehensively in World Cup 2023 opener

New Zealand made a statement in the opening game of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 against the defending champions England by chasing down 283 runs in just 36.2 overs as Devon Conway and Rachin Ravindra hit hundreds at Ahmedabad's Narendra Modi Stadium on Thursday, October 5. Conway and Ravindra stitched an unbeaten 273-run stand, which is the highest for New Zealand in the men's Cricket World Cup and fourth highest in the overall list as New Zealand took the World Cup by storm on the opening night.

Playing batting heavy, New Zealand knew what they were doing after choosing to bowl first despite knowing that England will come hard at them. England skipper Jos Buttler had said at the captains' meet that they will continue with the aggressive approach being fully aware that sometimes it may not come off but most times it does and they feel comfortable in that.

That some time came in the very first game for England, unfortunately. After being put in to bat first, England began in their usual fashion scoring quickly but their approach cost them wickets too. Jonny Bairstow started off with a bang but got dismissed to Mitchell Santner after he mistimed a shot. Matt Henry had already sent back Dawid Malan and England were two down already in just 13 overs.

Even though the runs were coming, the wickets procession didn't stop for England. Harry Brook played fast like he does, scoring 16-ball 25 but got out. Moeen Ali followed him to the pavilion soon after as England were reduced to 118/4. Joe Root and captain Buttler repaired the innings as the duo had taken the team score to 188 and built a perfect launchpad in the last 20 overs but they started to lose wickets again. The lower order did score a few runs to help England get to a score beyond 280. But eventually, it wasn't enough.

New Zealand too lost an early wicket in form of Will Young in the second over but England weren't prepared for what was coming towards them. Rachin Ravindra on his World Cup debut gave England a taste of their own medicine smashing their fastest bowler, Mark Wood black and blue. 

Wood had given away 37 runs in his three overs as after the powerplay itself Buttler had started searching for answers. Ravindra completed his half-century off just 36 balls while Conway too got to his fifty. Both just kept batting and got boundaries and sixes at will as it was a magnificent partnership. Buttler tried everything, fast bowlers, slower bowlers, part-timers but nothing was working as it was New Zealand's day and they chased down the total with 82 balls remaining.

It was as one-sided as it could and New Zealand have made a statement. England play Bangladesh in four days' time in Dharamsala and will hope to find their gear back.


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