The eagerly awaited tournament has kicked off in grand style, featuring a clash between the finalists of the previous World Cup. New Zealand, this time, set the tone with a resounding victory over Australia in their opening match. Their triumph was no less impressive against the defending champions, England, securing a massive win with 13.4 overs to spare and nine wickets in hand.
Opting to bowl first, New Zealand's astute use of the conditions, combined with England's inconsistent shot selection after a strong start, resulted in a modest total for the defending champions, with England finishing their innings at 282/9.
The second inning began with an early wicket loss for the Kiwis, but Rachin Ravindra and Devon Conway stepped up to the challenge in style. Opener Conway blazed an unbeaten 152 off 121 balls, while the young Ravindra showcased his stroke-filled prowess with a remarkable 123* (96). Together, they forged a monumental 273-run partnership, effortlessly chasing down the 283-run target in just 36.2 overs. This resounding victory significantly bolsters their run rate.
England's innings, anchored by Root's 77 off 86, failed to find another substantial partnership after his departure. Despite managing a competitive total, it proved insufficient against New Zealand's dominant performance.
In a tournament opener that pitted the losing finalist of the 2019 World Cup against the defending champions, the gap between the two sides was glaringly evident. While their previous encounter at Lord's four years ago was closely contested, this time, New Zealand left England with a morale-denting defeat that also impacted their Net Run Rate.
Notably, the second-wicket partnership between Conway and Ravindra, amassing over 200 runs, sets a new record for New Zealand and marks a significant milestone in the team's history, surpassing the previous highest partnership of 168, established by Chris Harris and Lee Germon in 1996 against Australia in Chennai.