A very good official crowd of 47,518 was registered at the Narendra Modi Stadium (Motera) in Ahmedabad for the 2023 Cricket World Cup opener between England and New Zealand. The crowd was thin at the beginning (the stadium has a capacity of over 100,000) but it improved as the evening progressed, with cooler temperatures in the night for spectators.
Devon Conway and Rachin Ravindra both scored fine hundreds as the Black Caps gained a modicum of revenge for their 2019 final loss by thumping England by 9 wickets.
After being asked to bat first, England made 282/9 in their allotted 50 overs- it was the first time in World Cup history that all eleven batsmen of the same team got into double digits. However wickets fell at regular intervals, and England weren’t quite able to have set batsmen take on New Zealand’s fourth and fifth bowlers (Ravindra, Phillips and Neesham). Joe Root top scored for them with 77 (86)
In response, the Black Caps lost Will Young for a duck but Conway and Ravindra were able to see off Curran’s early spell. They found Woakes significantly easier to deal with. Mark Wood struggled to impose himself on the game and England’s spinners- Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali, weren’t able to restrict the scoring.
Conway and Ravindra added 273 unbeaten runs for the second wicket- the biggest ever partnership in terms of runs against England in a World Cup match. Both hit centuries- Conway crossed 150, but Ravindra was given the Man of the Match award.
New Zealand’s net run rate is now a healthy 2.149 after the first game.