Kiwis beat England by nine wickets in ICC World Cup opener

New Zealand’s campaign in the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup got off to a roaring start with a resounding 9-wicket victory over defending champions England. Rachin Ravindra  smashed an unbeaten 123 while Devon Conway hit 152 not out, as New Zealand chased down England’s 282/9 with 82 balls to spare.

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Despite an early setback with Will Young departing for a first-ball duck, Ravindra and Conway put on a dazzling display. They blazed through the first Powerplay, hammering 13 fours and two sixes. Both batsmen reached their half-centuries in quick succession during the 12th and 13th overs.

Their partnership of 177 runs was a ICC Cricket World Cup record for two New Zealand batters, surpassing the previous 168-run partnership set in 1996. Conway and Ravindra didn’t let up, reaching their respective centuries as they closed in on the target. Ravindra’s maiden ODI hundred and Conway’s fifth century powered New Zealand to a comfortable win in the 37th over.

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Earlier, England struggled to post 282/9 despite Jos Buttler’s fiery 43. Joe Root held the innings together with a defiant 77. Matt Henry’s brilliant 3/48, supported by Mitchell Santner (2/37) and Glenn Phillips (2/17), kept the England batting lineup in check. Although England made efforts to accelerate their scoring, New Zealand’s disciplined bowling ensured they couldn’t break free. The 10th wicket partnership between Adil Rashid and Mark Wood helped England reach 282, marking the first instance where all eleven batters in a side reached double figures.

The next ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 match will be played between Pakistan and the Netherlands. Meanwhile, hosts India will start their campaign, when they face Australia on October 8 at Chennai’s MA Chidambaram Stadium.

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