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Devon Conway and Rachin Ravindra hit sizzling centuries as New Zealand romped to a nine-wicket win over one of the outright favourites England in the first match of the 2023 World Cup.
Conway, Ravindra hit hundreds
In the World Cup-opener played at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Thursday, October 5, an astonishing case of power-packed hitting by Conway and makeshift number three Ravindra propelled New Zealand to a facile win with 82 balls to spare.
Chasing a target of 283 on what had looked to be a bit of a rugged pitch for batting, New Zealand lost Will Young for a duck in the very first over to give the defending champions some hope. That, however, was short-lived as Ravindra walked in to join Conway and the duo batted England out of the contest.
In a combination of brutal and sublime hitting, Conway got to his century off 83 balls while Ravindra took 82 deliveries to get to his maiden hundred – the fasted by any New Zealand batsman in World Cup cricket.
— ICC Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) October 5, 2023
In the process the pair also became the first ever from New Zealand to be involved in a double-century partnership for any wicket in a World Cup match too.
Conway ended unbeaten on 152 while Ravindra scored the winning run and was 123 not-out in the end.
None of the English bowlers were spared with only Sam Curran providing some early resistance to the scoring after he started off the spell with two maidens and the wicket of Young.
England struggle to get a move on
This was after England had struggled to bat with their typical freedom after being inserted in by stand-in New Zealand captain Tom Latham.
England lost Dawid Malan early to Matt Henry and while the rest of the batsmen all chipped in with valuable contributions, their biggest concern was their lack of ability to get themselves a long partnership.
Joe Root played the part of a sheet anchor to perfection, scoring an 86-ball 77 that was punctuated with reverse sweeps and laps but the only partnership of substance that England was 70 for the fifth wicket between him and Jos Buttler.
Once Buttler departed – again, to Henry – the rest of the batting line-up failed to give England the necessary push in the death. They scored just 94 from the last 100 balls, losing five wickets in the process. Had it not been for a last wicket stand of an unbeaten 30, things could have been a lot worse for England.
Henry ended with 3/48 from his 10 overs, while Trent Boult came back from an early pasting to finish on 1/48 in his stipulated overs.
Pakistan play Netherlands in the second match of the tournament on Friday at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.
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