New Zealand's Key Wins Ahead of 2023 World Cup | Sportsmonks
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New Zealand’s Key Wins Ahead of 2023 World Cup

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New Zealand’s Three Pivotal Wins Leading to the 2023 World Cup

New Zealand enters the 2023 ODI World Cup as the perennial underdog. While their bilateral series performances may not have been dazzling, their reputation in ICC events speaks volumes. Despite grappling with injuries, including captain Kane Williamson’s, the Kiwis have a history of stepping up on the grandest stage.

In 2023, New Zealand engaged in ODI bilateral series against Pakistan (twice), India, England, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. Out of 20 matches played, they secured eight victories and had one match abandoned. Their preparations included tours to England and Bangladesh for four and three-match ODI series, respectively.

Let’s delve into New Zealand’s three most significant victories leading up to the 2023 World Cup:

1 England vs. New Zealand (1st ODI; Sophia Gardens, Cardiff)

New Zealand faced a challenging start to their tour of England, trailing in the T20Is. However, they roared back, leveling the four-match series and carrying momentum into the ODI leg.

Choosing to bowl first, New Zealand contended with England’s strong batting lineup, including Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Liam Livingstone, and skipper Jos Buttler, who propelled England to 291-5.

Devon Conway led New Zealand’s response with a magnificent century, supported by Daryl Mitchell’s hundred. Their unbeaten partnership for the third wicket powered New Zealand to chase down the target with over four overs to spare. Conway contributed 111 runs off 121 balls, while Daryl Mitchell’s explosive 118 off 91 deliveries included seven sixes.

2 Bangladesh vs. New Zealand (2nd ODI; Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur, Dhaka)

In their preparations for the World Cup, New Zealand faced a valuable test in subcontinent conditions, led by Lockie Ferguson. The Blackcaps secured a 2-0 series victory after the first ODI ended in a washout.

Opting to bat, New Zealand recovered from a shaky start at 36-3 thanks to a partnership between Henry Nicholls and Tom Blundell. The lower-middle order contributed crucial runs, helping New Zealand post 254.

Ish Sodhi exploited the conditions brilliantly, taking 6-39. Bangladesh, after reaching 60-1, stumbled to 90-5 rapidly and was eventually bowled out for a mere 168. New Zealand enjoyed an 86-run win.

3 Bangladesh vs. New Zealand (3rd ODI; Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur, Dhaka)

The three-match series hung in the balance ahead of the final encounter, with New Zealand leading 1-0 after two matches.

Bangladesh chose to bat first but faced early setbacks. The hosts were 8-2 as both openers departed quickly. Captain Najmul Shanto stood tall with a gritty 76, but the middle order offered minimal resistance. Bangladesh was dismissed for 171 in 34.3 overs.

In reply, New Zealand comfortably chased down the target with seven wickets and 34.5 overs to spare. Will Young and Henry Nicholls, both with fifties, steered the visitors to victory, sealing the series with one match remaining.

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By- Sahiba Suri

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