In a thrilling and high-scoring encounter at the 2023 Cricket World Cup, Australia emerged victorious over New Zealand by a narrow margin of just five runs. The contest took place amidst an electric atmosphere at the picturesque Dharamshala venue, leaving spectators on the edge of their seats throughout the match.
Both teams showcased their exceptional skills and competitive spirit, delighting cricket enthusiasts around the globe. The clash between these fierce rivals lived up to its billing, treating fans to an exhilarating display of batting prowess, relentless bowling, and captivating fielding maneuvers.
Travis Head finally arrived in Australian colors after missing the first five games through injury. The opener is in red-hot form and could be a key figure if the Australians want to take the trophy back to their country. He takes the place of Cameron Green in the squad as Mitchell Marsh dropped to the No.3 spot. Jimmy Neesham takes the place of Mark Chapman to provide an extra seaming option.
- David Warner 2. Travis Head 3. Mitchell Marsh 4. Steve Smith 5. Marnus Labuschagne 6. Glenn Maxwell 7. Josh Inglis (WK) 8. Pat Cummins (Cap.) 9. Mitchell Starc 10. Adam Zampa 11. Josh Hazlewood
- Devon Conway 2. Will Young 3. Rachin Ravindra 4. Daryl Mitchell 5. Tom Latham (Cap.) (WK) 6. Glenn Phillips 7. Jimmy Neesham 8. Mitchell Santner 9. Matt Henry 10. Trent Boult 11. Lockie Ferguson
New Zealand stand-in skipper Tom Latham won the toss and decided to bowl first on a wicket that looked ideal to bat on. The pitch in Dharamshala did not have any grass on it; the bowlers would get little to no assistance from the surface. The spinners can create problems for the batters if they can skip the ball quickly to the batsmen. The decision to chase was a rare mistake by the usually brilliant Latham, a decision which had disastrous consequences and left the New Zealanders a mountain to climb after the first 50 overs.
|The 27th game of the 2023 World Cup was played at the picturesque HPCA Cricket Stadium in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh
|The game started from 10:30 pm IST on Saturday, October 28
Captaincy & Tactics
The captain of the Black Caps, the New Zealand cricket team, may have made a mistake even before the game started. He chose to field first after winning the coin toss at Himachal Pradesh Association Stadium.
Unfortunately, this decision didn’t go well as the Australian opening batsmen, David Warner and Travis Head, aggressively scored 93 runs in the first eight overs.
In the ninth over, the New Zealand captain decided to bring in a spin bowler, Mitchell Santner, but it was a strange choice considering that there were two left-handed batsmen on the field and only two fielders were allowed outside the inner circle. Surprisingly, Santner couldn’t stop the flow of runs or take a wicket, giving away three boundaries in his first over of the match.
After enjoying a short revival during the middle overs, the New Zealand attack lost their way in the slog overs. There were a lot of freebies and wide deliveries bowled, which regularly disappeared to the stands. The Australians made the most of the New Zealand slip-ups by posting a huge target of 388.
Travis Head’s return to the Australian squad proved to be a justified decision by the selectors, as he and Warner displayed exceptional batting skills at the high-altitude venue. Head scored a blistering 109 runs off just 67 balls, while Warner contributed 81 runs off 65 balls. The
aggressive batting display left New Zealand’s fast bowlers demoralized, with Ferguson even suffering an Achilles injury during his three overs.
The partnership between Head and Warner was characterized by their fearless and dominant approach, especially against short-pitched deliveries. Warner reached his half-century in just 28 balls, marking his third consecutive fifty in the tournament. Head, on the other hand, exhibited no signs of rustiness despite his six-week hiatus from batting and reached his fifty off just 25 balls, becoming Australia’s second-fastest player to achieve this milestone in a World Cup and the fastest among debutants.
While Warner’s pace slowed down, Head continued his aggressive approach. Despite surviving two dropped chances, he kept attacking the New Zealand bowlers. He reached his century off just 59 balls, becoming the fastest opener to achieve this feat in World Cup history. However, he eventually fell victim to Phillips’ clever bowling, playing back to a quicker delivery that disturbed his stumps.
Australia’s middle-order stumbled following Warner and Head’s departure. Mitchell Marsh and Marnus Labuschagne struggled to rotate the strike, leading to Labuschagne’s dismissal, caught off Santner’s bowling. This period allowed Phillips to bowl an impressive 30 dot balls in his ten overs.
Finally, Glenn Maxwell, Josh Inglis, and Pat Cummins displayed a flurry of boundaries and sixes in the final overs, helping Australia reach a formidable total of 388 runs. Maxwell’s quickfire 41 runs off 24 balls stood out, while Inglis and Cummins also contributed valuable runs, aided by some missed catching opportunities from the New Zealand fielders.
Australia were in a strong position at 387 for 6 with only two overs remaining in their innings. However, things took a dramatic turn as they lost four wickets for just one run, eventually being bowled out with four balls left. Trent Boult played a decisive role by taking three wickets in a single over. Although it didn’t seem like a big concern initially, this collapse nearly cost Australia the match.
Amongst a game dominated by batsmen, Adam Zampa’s bowling performance stood out, taking three crucial wickets for Australia, including the dismissals of Mitchell, Tom Latham, and Mitchell Santner. However, the most outstanding bowler of the match was Glenn Phillips, who
single-handedly brought New Zealand back into contention with career-best figures of 3 for 37, including an impressive number of dot balls.
The game took a turn when Phillips entered the bowling attack in the 14th over. Despite Australia’s strong position at 144 runs without loss, Phillips managed to restrain Warner with his disciplined and accurate bowling.
He consistently bowled tight lines and lengths, denying Warner opportunities to score freely. Warner’s scoring rate drastically dropped, and he struggled to find boundaries, ultimately falling to Phillips in the 20th over after contributing 65 runs off 36 balls.
New Zealand had a decent start in their run chase but couldn’t match Australia’s explosive power play performance. Both Devon Conway and Will Young showed great form but failed to capitalize on their good starts, as they were dismissed by Josh Hazlewood with the help of a brilliant catch by Mitchell Starc.
For a while, Ravindra struggled to find his rhythm, but he found support in Mitchell and played an exceptional innings, scoring a half-century off just 42 balls. Mitchell showcased his batting prowess by effortlessly dealing with the bowling of Adam Zampa and Starc. However, Zampa had the last laugh as he induced a miscue, resulting in Mitchell getting caught at long-on.
Ravindra started performing well after Mitchell got out. He had a good partnership with Latham, contributing to a total of 50 runs, and later with Phillips, adding 43 more runs. Ravindra rapidly scored from 50 to 100 in just 28 balls.
It took the southpaw batter until he reached the score of 45 before hitting his first six, but after that, he struck five more sixes to reach his century. All of his shots were powerful and clean. However, Ravindra was dropped by Maxwell right after reaching 100, but it didn’t affect the match much as he got out shortly afterward.
Ravindra’s innings brought New Zealand close to achieving a record chase as they had the same score as Australia with 10 overs remaining. Neesham stayed calm while Australia struggled. Starc, Hazlewood, and Cummins couldn’t find their target, while Neesham and the lower-order batsmen easily hit boundaries.
When Matt Henry got out, New Zealand needed 43 runs from 18 balls, which led to a thrilling finish. However, Australia managed to hold on and strengthen their chances of reaching the semi-finals, while New Zealand was left disappointed with another defeat in Dharamshala.
The Australian fielding was exceptional despite Marnus Labuschagne giving away a six by stepping on the boundary line. They saved so many runs by being athletic on a tough outfield in Dharamshala. The last-over relay saves by Labuschagne, and Inglis was a key factor in deciding the match.
The New Zealand fielding was not up to the mark. Head and Warner were among the five dropped catches that eventually cost the game for the Kiwis.
Travis Head and David Warner delivered a remarkable performance in the cricket match, smashing a combined total of 118 runs in the first powerplay and achieving an incredible 175-run partnership. This outstanding contribution helped Australia reach a massive total of 388 runs, making them the first team in One-Day International (ODI) history to score three consecutive scores of 350 or more.
However, New Zealand’s Rachin Ravindra displayed his own brilliance by scoring a dazzling century in just 77 balls. Daryl Mitchell also played exceptionally well, contributing 54 runs and giving New Zealand a chance to achieve their highest-ever ODI chase.
In the nail-biting finish, James Neesham nearly replicated his heroic performance from the 2019 World Cup final but fell short by just one hit, scoring an impressive 58 runs off 39 balls. Ultimately, he was run out on the second-to-last ball, leaving New Zealand heartbroken. Mitchell Starc, who had a difficult time earlier in the innings, held his nerve and denied Lockie Ferguson the six runs he needed on the final ball, securing a vital victory for Australia.
Starc could have been blamed for Australia’s potential loss, as New Zealand needed 43 runs off 18 balls with only two wickets remaining. However, Starc managed to bowl accurately and restrict the scoring.
Despite some wide deliveries, he executed crucial yorkers, preventing Neesham from finding the boundary. Additionally, Australia’s fielders made exceptional saves, and in the end, Labuschagne and Josh Inglis combined for the run-out of Neesham.
Rachin Ravindra was the most precious wicket for the Australians as the young Kiwi was taking the game away from the Aussies. He finally holed out to long off where Marnus Labuschagne took his catch. Ravindra scored 116 runs off 89 balls, an innings typifying his grit and technique. Adam Zampa finally delivered the wicket his captain was craving, putting Australia in the driving seat.
Australia came out of the exhilarating Trans-Tasman derby by just 5 runs and recorded their third victory in three games.
Player of the Match
For his bombastic World Cup debut hundred, Travis Head was selected as the best player of the match.
|Australia Total: 388/10 (49.2 overs)
|New Zealand Total: 383/9 (50 overs)
|Travis Head 109 (67)
|Rachin Ravindra 116 (89)
|David Warner 81 (65)
|James Neesham 58 (39)
|Glenn Phillips 3/37
|Adam Zampa 3/74
|Trent Boult 3/77
|Pat Cummins 2/66
It was another classic for the World Cup enthusiasts throughout the world. Australia might have been winners, but New Zealand has captured the hearts of the people who love cricket. Australia now has a firm grip on their fourth place, while New Zealand is in the third place. Australia will face arch-rivals England on Saturday in their next match. New Zealand is going to face South Africa in a monumental clash as the group stage enters its business stage.