Devon Conway and Rachin Ravindra unleashed a whirlwind of brilliance as they blazed to magnificent centuries, leaving an England bowling attack bewildered. Their phenomenal partnership of 271 runs propelled New Zealand to a resounding nine-wicket victory against the defending champions at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium on Thursday.
Conway’s bat sizzled as he carved an unbeaten 152 runs off just 121 balls, while Rachin displayed his prodigious talent with an extraordinary 123 not out from 96 deliveries. It was a batting spectacle that England couldn’t contain.
England had set a target of 282 runs for New Zealand. Black Caps started reasonably well despite English fast bowler Sam Curran dismissing Will Young for a duck. As Rachin Ravindra joined forces with Conway, and together, they unleashed a barrage of boundaries and sixes in the opening powerplay, leaving England’s pace and spin bowlers shell-shocked.
Their partnership was relentless, with two sixes coming off Ravindra’s bat, one against Mark Wood and the other against Moeen Ali. The duo reached their respective half-centuries in the 12th and 13th overs, showcasing their remarkable individual prowess.
At the 25-over mark, their unbeaten alliance of 177 runs was already the highest partnership for two New Zealand batsmen in a Cricket World Cup match, surpassing the previous record of 168 runs set by Chris Harris and Lee Germon in 1996.
In the 27th over, Conway notched up a scorching century in just 83 balls, while Rachin’s maiden hundred took New Zealand closer to the target. Their assault continued without a hint of slowing down, guiding their team to a resounding nine-wicket victory.
In England’s inning, Matt Henry’s fiery three-wicket haul, complemented by Glenn Phillips and Mitchell Santner’s two wickets each, restricted England to a total of 282/9 in their allotted overs.
Despite a fiery start by Jonny Bairstow, who dispatched a Trent Boult delivery for a six off the first ball, England struggled to maintain momentum. Opener Dawid Malan fell after a cautious start, and England’s middle order couldn’t quite find the consistency they needed.
Joe Root’s inventive reverse scoop for a six was a highlight, but wickets fell at crucial junctures. Mitchell Santner accounted for Bairstow, while Rachin Ravindra got rid of Harry Brook.
England’s innings further stumbled as they lost Moeen Ali and well-set batters Jos Buttler and Joe Root. The lower order contributed with Chris Woakes, Sam Curran, and Adil Rashid, but it was Matt Henry’s disciplined bowling that kept England from posting a more substantial total.
In the end, England managed 282/9, which New Zealand chased down convincingly, clinching a memorable victory with nine wickets in hand.
Brief Score: England 282/9 (Joe Root 77, Jos Buttler 43; Matt Henry 3-48) vs New Zealand 283/1 (Devon Conway 152*, Rachin Ravindra 123*; Sam Curran 1-47).
Support Our Journalism
Global Indian Diaspora needs fair, non-hyphenated, and questioning journalism, packed with on-ground reporting. The Australia Today – with exceptional reporters, columnists, and editors – is doing just that. Sustaining this needs support from wonderful readers like you.
Whether you live in Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States of America, or India you can take a paid subscription by clicking Patreon. Buy an annual ‘The Australia Today Membership’ to support independent journalism and get special benefits.