In a historic ICC Cricket World Cup opening match against England, New Zealand achieved a remarkable feat by successfully chasing down a target of 283 runs in just 36.2 overs, setting a record for the fastest 250-plus run chase in terms of overs in World Cup history. The Kiwis displayed an outstanding performance, making a mockery of the target set by the defending champions.
The match was highlighted by centuries from both Devon Conway and Rachin Ravindra, who dominated the English bowling attack. Their partnership of 273 runs is not only the highest for any wicket for New Zealand in World Cup history but also the fourth-highest partnership in World Cup history, with the highest being Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels’ partnership of 372 runs against Zimbabwe.
Rachin Ravindra’s century, achieved in just 82 balls, became New Zealand’s fastest century in ODI World Cup history. However, the record for the fastest World Cup century overall still belongs to Ireland’s Kevin O’Brien.
Ravindra also became the third youngest player overall and the youngest Kiwi batter to score a century on their World Cup debut, with India’s Virat Kohli holding the record as the youngest player with a World Cup century on debut.
Devon Conway, aged 32 years and 89 days, became the second oldest player to score a World Cup century for New Zealand, with Ireland’s Jeremy Bray holding the record as the oldest.
Conway also achieved the milestone of being the fastest Kiwi batter to reach 1,000 ODI runs, doing so in just 22 innings. He has consistently performed well in ODIs, with an average of 54.00 and five centuries to his name.
In the match itself, New Zealand’s bowlers did a commendable job by restricting England to 282/9 in their allotted 50 overs. Joe Root played a pivotal role for England with his knock of 77 runs.
A notable aspect of the match was that, for the first time in ODI history, all the batters in a team managed to score in double figures, a testament to the competitive nature of the contest.
Matt Henry was the standout bowler for New Zealand, taking three wickets, while Mitchell Santner and Glenn Phillips contributed with their spin bowling, each claiming two wickets. Trent Boult and Rachin Ravindra also chipped in with one wicket each.
In the chase of 283, New Zealand had a strong start but lost an early wicket when Will Young was dismissed for a duck. However, the duo of Conway and Ravindra took charge and steered New Zealand to a convincing victory with almost 14 overs to spare.
Rachin Ravindra was rightfully awarded the ‘Player of the Match‘ for his exceptional all-round performance. This emphatic win by New Zealand set the tone for an exciting ICC Cricket World Cup tournament.
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