ODI World Cup: Devon Conway, Rachin Ravindra fire dazzling tons as New Zealand stun defending champions England in opener
With the crushing win, the Kiwis extracted a sweet revenge of their World Cup final heartbreak four years ago as England’s title defence got off to an alarming start.
The rematch of the extraordinary 2019 final got a very different result as the Blacks Caps thrashed England in a completely one-sided affair, riding on sublime Conway and Ravindra tons.
Chasing 283 looked like a cake walk as the duo shared a jaw-dropping unbeaten 273-run stand off just 211 balls to steer New Zealand home with 82 balls to spare.
New Zealand, led by Tom Latham in the absence of regular skipper Kane Williamson, kept England down to a below-par total despite Joe Root’s 77.
As It Happened
Ravindra and Conway made short work of the target as they smashed the opposition bowlers all around the ground after losing Will Young early to left-arm quick Sam Curran.
Conway hit the first ton of the tournament off 83 balls studded with 13 fours and two sixes and soon reached 1,000 runs in 23 ODI matches.
The 23-year-old Ravindra quickly followed with his maiden ODI century off 82 balls with nine fours and four sixes, raising his bat to acknowledge the smattering of fans inside the 132,000-capacity arena.
Conway surpassed his previous best of 138 as he and Ravindra pummelled the bowlers for an emphatic win which also provided an early boost to their net run-rate.
Earlier, fast bowler Matt Henry returned figures of 3-48 for the New Zealand while spinners Mitchell Santner and Glenn Phillips took two wickets each.
Dawid Malan and Jonny Bairstow gave England a brisk start but Malan fell, caught behind off Henry and Bairstow’s knock was cut short by Santner, who got the batsman out for 33 off his left-arm spin.
Harry Brook took on Ravindra in the left-arm spinner’s first over to smash two fours and a six before the bowler had his revenge on the final delivery.
Brook, coming into the starting line-up for Stokes, attempted another big hit and was caught at deep mid-wicket.
Root reached his 37th ODI half-century off 57 balls, an innings laced with two fours and one six off a reverse scoop shot.
But he fell to Phillips’ off-spin while attempting a reverse sweep and England slipped further before Adil Rashid (15) and Mark Wood (13) ensured the team played out their 50 overs with an unbeaten stand of 30.
(With inputs from AFP)