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England will take on New Zealand in a repeat of the 2019 final for the opening match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Despite going into the competition as title holders, captain Jos Buttler has been keen to play down his side’s chances, insisting that they have less pressure than four years ago and that India are firm favourites for the tournament. The contest will lack some of the usual fanfare of tournament openers after reports emerged there would not be an opening ceremony before the game itself, but it is likely to be an entertaining contest.
England were ranked fifth in the world in the ICC one-day international rankings ahead of the tournament, with New Zealand sixth. Buttler also faced an anxious wait to find out if Ben Stokes recovered from a hamstring issue in time to be able to play.
Follow the latest news and updates from England vs New Zealand below and get the latest match odds and tips here.
England 64-2 (13), Root 15, Brook 0, Santner 1-15 (4)
Harry Brook is the new batter and with one ball left in the over from Mitchell Santner he defends it well enough. Brook is into the team in the absence of Ben Stokes.
Mike Jones5 October 2023 10:30
Wicket! Jonny Bairstow ct. Daryl Mitchell b. Mitchell Santner 33 (35), England 64-2 (12.5)
Jonny Bairstow looks to go over the top and cheaply lifts the ball to the boundary at deep mid on. Daryl Mitchell is waiting and takes the simplest of catches to send the second England opener back to the pavilion.
Mike Jones5 October 2023 10:28
England 64-1 (12.4), Bairstow 33, Root 15, Santner 0-15 (3.4)
Matt Henry has left the pitch, possibly for a bathroom break, possibly because of a niggle. That’s one to keep an eye on as Mitchell Santner continues.
Joe Root turns him into the legside for one and Jonny Bairstow follows suit to keep his tally ticking over.
The England batters are content to work the spinner into the gaps and wait for a loose delivery…
Mike Jones5 October 2023 10:26
England 61-1 (12), Bairstow 32, Root 13, Boult 0-28 (4)
The left-arm seamer is re-introduced into the attack after taking a little bit of tap from Bairstow earlier in the innings. Boult has a great record against Root especially when swinging the ball back into his pads. There’s not much movement in Ahmedabad today though.
Six! After a couple of dot balls Root drops low and reverse ramps Boult over the wicket keeper’s head for a maximum! He’s absolutely nailed that one.
Root then takes one from the last ball and keeps the strike.
Mike Jones5 October 2023 10:23
England 54-1 (11), Bairstow 32, Root 6, Santner 0-12 (3)
The 11th over of England’s innings sees New Zealand spread the field after the end of the powerplay allowing Root and Bairstow to milk Santner away for three consecutive singles.
The left-arm spinner decides to dart the final three balls into Bairstow’s pads and there’s no way through the offside field for the England opener.
Just three from the over.
Mike Jones5 October 2023 10:19
England 51-1 (10), Bairstow 31, Root 4, Henry 1-21 (5)
Matt Henry continues after dismissing Dawid Malan in his previous over. Joe Root having eased to three from his first four balls is on strike and he prods forward angling his bat to shape the ball away to gully.
The next delivery is fuller from Henry and he draws a booming drive from Root who misses it and looks disappointed at his stroke.
Root gets off strike with a push into the legside and the field spreds out for Jonny Bairstow though he just pushes a couple of drives to the fielder at mid off.
The final ball of the over is smoked through cover and brings Bairstow a boundary! England bring up 50.
Mike Jones5 October 2023 10:15
England 46-1 (9), Bairstow 27, Root 3, Santner 0-9 (2)
Santner has just taken the pace off and the runs have started to come in singles rather than boundaries to the specialist white-ball spinner.
Root and Bairstow just knocking the ball into the gaps.
Mike Jones5 October 2023 10:12
England 41-1 (8), Bairstow 24, Root 1, Henry 1-16 (4)
Malan went on the fourth ball of the over to bring Joe Root to the crease. He has experience in India and is widely considered one of the best players of spin in the world.
He’s off the mark with a scampered single, but it is hot out there and I wonder how long it will take for that to take it’s toll on both bowlers and batters today.
Sonia Twigg5 October 2023 10:11
Wicket! Malan out caught behind for 14! England 40-1
A first sign of extra bounce, Henry bowls one a bit short, it loops over Bairstow and almost over Latham as well.
It’s hot and humid and that might start taking his toll, but Malan has edged behind trying to drive the ball, just wafted at it without any foot movement, Latham this time holds on to the catch and Henry has his first wicket of the tournament.
Sonia Twigg5 October 2023 10:07
England 39-0 (7), Bairstow 23, Malan 14, Henry 0-14 (3)
Mitchell Santner will come on to try and find a breakthrough, with Latham already making a change, but only two fielders are allowed outside the ring in the first powerplay (the first 10 overs).
And he starts with a wide, Bairstow drives the next but only up to long off and will pick up a single.
But the lack of pace seems to be stemming the boundary rate, with Bairstow retreating into his crease and having to work it into the gaps.
Malan pulls out the reverse sweep, and was dropped on 14 the ball before! the ball skidded and kept low and Latham couldn’t hold onto it.
Sonia Twigg5 October 2023 10:04