Conway, Ravindra steers New Zealand past England

You are currently viewing Conway, Ravindra steers New Zealand past England
  • Post published:October 5, 2023

Devon Conway and Rachin Ravindra smashed centuries to steer New Zealand to a nine-wicket win over defending champions England in the opening match of the World Cup on Thursday.

England were restricted to 282-9 after the Kiwis chose to bowl at the world’s largest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad, despite the absence of talisman Ben Stokes due to a hip injury.

Conway (152) and Ravindra (123) then put on an unbeaten 273-run stand for the second wicket as the Black Caps easily surpassed the target with 13.4 overs to spare.

The outcome was in stark contrast to the epic World Cup final between the two teams at Lord’s in 2019, when England won a tied match on a boundary count back.

“Sometimes it’s unbelievable at times, but great to have a great day out,” said Ravindra.

“The bowlers bowled well and we were lucky enough to have Devon out there. I have spent a lot of time with Dev and we are very, very close mates.”

Despite Joe Root’s 77, New Zealand, led by Tom Latham in the absence of regular skipper Kane Williamson, held England to a below-par total.

After losing Will Young early to left-arm quick Sam Curran, Ravindra and Conway made quick work of the target, smashing the opposition bowlers all over the ground.

Conway scored the tournament’s first century off 83 balls, hitting 13 fours and two sixes, and quickly reached 1,000 runs in 23 ODIs.

Ravindra, 23, quickly followed with his maiden ODI century off 82 balls with nine fours and four sixes, raising his bat to acknowledge the 132,000-capacity arena’s smattering of fans.

Conway surpassed his previous best of 138 as he and Ravindra thrashed the bowlers for an emphatic victory that provided an early boost to their net run-rate.

“It was a disappointing day,” admitted England captain Jos Buttler.

“We were very much outplayed by New Zealand but it’s still just one loss in a long tournament.”

Earlier, fast bowler Matt Henry took 3-48 for New Zealand, while spinners Mitchell Santner and Glenn Phillips each took two wickets.

England got off to a fast start thanks to Dawid Malan and Jonny Bairstow, but Malan was caught behind off Henry and Bairstow’s knock was cut short by Santner, who bowled the batsman out for 33 off his left-arm spin.

In Ravindra’s first over, Harry Brook smashed two fours and a six before the bowler got his revenge on the final delivery.

Brook, who replaced Stokes in the batting order, attempted another big hit but was caught at deep midwicket.

Root hit his 37th ODI half-century in 57 balls, with two fours and one six off a reverse scoop shot.

But he was bowled by Phillips’ off-spin while attempting a reverse sweep, and England slipped further before Adil Rashid (15) and Mark Wood (13) ensured the team finished their 50 overs with an unbeaten 30-run stand.