Conway, Ravindra star as New Zealand rout England in World Cup opener to avenge 2019 final loss - GulfToday

Conway, Ravindra star as New Zealand rout England in World Cup opener to avenge 2019 final loss


Devon Conway celebrates after scoring a century during the World Cup match at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Thursday night. AFP

The Cricket World Cup opened on Thursday with New Zealand gaining a measure of revenge for how the last one ended four years ago.

The rematch of the extraordinary 2019 final got a very different result as the Blacks Caps powered to a nine-wicket thrashing of England, whose title defense is off to an alarming start.

England, without star batter Ben Stokes because of a hip injury, was put into bat and posted 282-9 - a score that always seemed well below par at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

That’s how it proved as New Zealand raced to its target in just 36.2 overs, with Devon Conway (152 not out) and Rachin Ravindra (123 not out) putting on a virtually chanceless second-wicket stand of 273 to help the team to 283-1. The chase was achieved without captain Kane Williamson, who still has yet to recover from a knee injury.

Conway’s 83-ball hundred was the Black Caps’ fastest at a World Cup - but only until the 23-year-old allrounder Ravindra went quicker, off 82 balls, to also become New Zealand’s youngest century-maker. The duo had come together when Sam Curran dismissed Will Young for a golden duck.

JoeRoot-WC-2023 Joe Root plays a shot during the match against England. AFP

Joe Root top-scored with 77 for England, which at least made some history after all batters scored double figures. It’s the first time that has happened in the history of ODIs, totaling 4,658 matches.

There was a sparse crowd for the start of the 13th edition of the 50-over World Cup, though the cavernous 134,000-seater stadium was slightly fuller by the time the one-sided match ended.

Conway hit 19 fours and three sixes, while Ravindra hit 11 fours and five sixes, a total boundary count of 38 that exceeded England’s 27. None of the English bowlers were able to trouble the duo, with Mark Wood taken for 0-55 in his five-over spell. It was the first time two batters making their debut in the World Cup scored centuries in the same match.

RachinRavindra-100 Rachin Ravindra (R) celebrates with Devon Conway after scoring a century during the World Cup match. AFP

Put into bat, England didn’t get off to a quick start as anticipated. Jonny Bairstow scored 33 off 35 balls, while Dawid Malan managed only 14 runs despite being dropped early.

They added 40 for the first wicket in 7.4 overs and New Zealand didn’t allow the run-rate to take off. When the spinners came on, the runs dried up further as Mitchell Santner dismissed Bairstow in the 13th over.

Harry Brook tried to cut loose with 16 runs off Ravindra in the 17th over, but he ended up getting out caught off the last ball.

England countered the two left-arm spinners by sending Moeen Ali up the order. It didn’t work as part-time offspinner Glenn Phillips clean bowled him for 11 runs.

Root held the fort at one end after England was down to 118-4 in 21.2 overs. He then added 70 runs for the fifth wicket with skipper Jos Buttler.



J Bairstow c Mitchell b Santner    33

D Malan c Latham b Henry    14

J Root b Phillips            77

H Brook c Conway b Ravindra    25

M Ali b Phillips            11

J Buttler c Latham b Henry        43

L Livingstone c Henry b Boult    20

S Curran c Latham b Henry    14

C Woakes c Young b Santner    11

A Rashid not out            15

M Wood not out            13

Extras (w6)            6

Total (9 wickets, 50 overs)            282

Bowling: Boult 10-1-48-1 (w1), Henry 10-1-48-3, Santner 10-0-37-2 (w1), Neesham 7-0-56-0 (w4), Ravindra 10-0-76-1, Phillips 3-0-17-2

New Zealand (target 283)

D Conway not out            152

W Young c Buttler b Curran        0

R Ravindra not out            123

Extras (b4, lb1, w3)            8

Total (one wicket, 36.2 overs)    283

Bowling: Woakes 6-0-45-0, Curran 6-2-47-1 (w2), Wood 5-0-55-0 (w1), Moeen 9.2-0-60-0, Rashid 7-0-47-0, Livingstone 3-0-24-0

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