Jonny Bairstow in action for England during Cricket World Cup 2023© AFP
Jonny Bairstow became the first batter ever in history to open a Cricket World Cup with a six during the opening match between England and New Zealand on Thursday. It was the first scoring shot of the tournament as Bairstow comfortably heaved a delivery from Trent Boult over fine-leg for a six. However, England were unable to score big as New Zealand bowlers led by Matt Henry kept them in check to 282-9 despite Joe Root‘s 77. New Zealand invited England to bat first at the world’s biggest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad with the English missing their talisman Ben Stokes due to a hip injury.
First runs of the #icccricketworldcup2023 & that too with a SIX 6⃣ …
— SRKxVIJAY (@Srkxvijay) October 5, 2023
England lost regular wickets as batsmen failed to convert their starts into bigger scores but Root stood out and put on a key stand of 70 with skipper Jos Buttler, who made 43.
The rest of the batting lacked firepower against a Kiwi attack that missed Tim Southee but kept coming back at the champions in a rematch of the 2019 World Cup final when England won a tied match on boundary count back at Lord’s.
Dawid Malan and Jonny Bairstow gave England a brisk start but the Kiwi bowlers soon removed the openers to take control of play on a sunny afternoon in front of a smattering of fans inside the 132,000-capacity arena.
Malan fell caught behind off Henry and Bairstow’s knock was cut short by Santner, who got the batsman out for 33 off his left-arm spin.
Brook, coming in the starting line-up for Stokes, attempted another big hit but got caught at deep mid-wicket.
Root raised his 37th ODI half-century off 57 balls laced with two fours and one six off a reverse scoop shot.
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