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Conway, Ravindra script New Zealand’s triumph over England in World Cup opener

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AHMEDABAD: Left-handed opener Devon Conway and Rachin Ravindra scored dominant centuries and powered New Zealand to a thumping nine-wicket victory over holders England in the ICC World Cup 2023 opener.

Chasing 283, New Zealand comfortably knocked off the runs with 82 balls to spare.

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The Blackcaps had a contrasting start to their pursuit as their opener Will Young perished for a golden duck on the first delivery of the second over with just 10 runs on the board.

The early blow did not harm New Zealand much as Rachin Ravindra joined forces with Devon Conway and launched an astounding counterattack.

The pair utterly dominated the England bowlers and notched up an unbeaten 273-run partnership to steer their side to a triumphant start to the ICC World Cup 2023.

Devon Conway remained the top-scorer for New Zealand with a sensational 152 off just 121 balls with the help of 19 boundaries and three sixes.

Ravindra, on the other hand, was equally impressive with his 123 not out in a mere 96 deliveries, hitting 11 boundaries and five sixes.

Sam Curran was the lone wicket-taker for defending champions England while the rest of their bowlers struggled against Conway-Ravindra baton charge.

England, after being asked to bat first, had a decent start to the innings before Matt Henry stuck in the eighth over to send Dawid Malan back at a total of 40.

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Jonny Bairstow soon followed him after scoring 33 runs off 35 balls as he looked to hit Santner over extra cover but was gobbled by Mitchell.

Joe Root was then joined by Harry Brook, who played a 16-ball cameo of 25 featuring four boundaries and one six, before being caught by Conway in an attempt to clear the ropes again.

Root, then knitted a solid 70-run partnership for the fifth wicket with captain Jos Buttler, before the latter was removed by Matt Henry in his second spell at a total of 188.

Jos Buttler scored a 42-ball 43, laced with two boundaries and two sixes.

Joe Root remained firm as he lost another partner in Liam Livingstone (20) before being bowled by Glenn Phillips while attempting a reverse sweep leaving England at 229-7.

He top-scored with an anchoring 77 off 84 with the help of four boundaries and one six.

England lost the next two wickets in quick succession and was reduced to 252-9 in the 46th over, however, Adil Rashid (15) and Mark Wood (13) added valuable 30 runs in the remaining overs to set New Zealand 283 to chase.

Matt Henry topped the bowling charts for New Zealand with 3-48, while Michael Santner and Glenn Phillips picked two wickets each.

READ: Marcus Stoinis doubtful for ICC World Cup 2023 clash against India

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