In the 13th edition of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, the tournament got off to an exciting start at Ahmedabad, with New Zealand securing a dominant nine-wicket victory over England in the opening match.
Chasing England’s total of 282/9, New Zealand achieved the target in just 36.2 overs, setting the tone for their campaign. The standout performance of the match was an incredible unbeaten 273-run partnership for the third wicket between Rachin Ravindra (123*) and Devon Conway (152*).
New Zealand faced an early setback when Will Young was dismissed for a first-ball duck, but Ravindra’s arrival saw a remarkable transformation. Ravindra and Conway aggressively attacked during the first Powerplay, hitting 13 fours and two sixes, both of which came off Ravindra’s bat.
The duo didn’t ease their foot off the gas, maintaining a scoring rate close to eight runs an over in the following overs. They reached their respective half-centuries in the 12th and 13th overs. After a slight dip in scoring post-drinks, Conway and Ravindra regained their momentum. Their partnership of 177 runs at the 25-over mark set a new record for the highest partnership by two New Zealand batters in a Cricket World Cup match, surpassing the 168-run stand set by Chris Harris and Lee Germon in 1996.
As the innings progressed, both Conway and Ravindra notched up centuries, with Conway scoring his fifth ODI hundred and Ravindra reaching his maiden ODI century. England’s bowling struggled to contain them, and New Zealand successfully chased down the target in the 37th over.
In England’s innings, they were restricted to 282/9, thanks to an excellent performance by the New Zealand bowlers. Matt Henry claimed 3/48, while Mitchell Santner and Glenn Phillips chipped in with 2/37 and 2/17, respectively.
Jos Buttler’s arrival in the 22nd over boosted England’s scoring rate, as he launched an attack on the bowlers, hitting two fours and two sixes in his innings. However, Matt Henry returned to dismiss Buttler for 43, shifting the game back in New Zealand’s favor.
Despite efforts from Joe Root and Liam Livingstone to accelerate the scoring, the Black Caps’ bowlers kept taking crucial wickets. Livingstone was removed by Trent Boult in the 39th over, and Root was dismissed by Glenn Phillips in the 42nd over.
Despite losing wickets regularly in the final powerplay, England managed to reach 282, thanks to an unbeaten 30-run 10th-wicket partnership between Adil Rashid and Mark Wood. Notably, this marked the first time that all eleven batters in a side had reached double figures in a World Cup match.
Opting to bowl first, New Zealand’s stand-in captain Tom Latham could not have foreseen the unique batting record that England would establish. England posted a total of 282-9 in their innings, but an amazing New Zealand won by nine wickets.
This extraordinary feat had never been accomplished in the history of One Day Internationals (ODIs), spanning 52 years and 4,567 matches.
The sequence of England’s batting order during this memorable innings read as follows: Jonny Bairstow 33, Dawid Malan 14, Joe Root 77, Harry Brook 25, Moeen Ali 11, Jos Buttler 43, Liam Livingstone 20, Sam Curran 14, Chris Woakes 11, Adil Rashid 15 not out, and Mark Wood 13 not out.