Travis Head’s hundred and awareness of the game at crucial moments helped Australia cancel out a brilliant century from Rashin Ravindra to register a thrilling five-run win over New Zealand in a World Cup match here on Saturday.
The destruction of Head (109 off 67 balls) and opening partner David Warner (81 off 65 balls) during their 175-run alliance gelled well with some late fluctuations as the Australians overcame a middle-order collapse to post a full 388, having been put into bat .
Ravindra made a scintillating 116 off 89 balls and James Neesham 39 off 58 balls but the New Zealanders could only manage 383 balls to suffer a second successive defeat in the tournament.
The cumulative score of 771 recorded by the two teams is the highest total score in a World Cup match, surpassing the 754 achieved by South Africa (428) and Sri Lanka (326) in New Delhi on October 7, in this particular event.
With this victory, Australia raised its score to eight points from six matches, the same as New Zealand’s score, and is firmly entrenched in first place. 4 at this point.
But this situation did not come without moments of fear. Ravindra gave them the biggest of them all with roles that belied his young age of 23.
The left-handed player does not have a great frame, but what he does have is tremendous timing that allows him to send the ball into the stands when needed.
Pat Cummins will attest to that. Ravindra picked up a long ball outside off stump off the pacer to carry it over the covers for a six, which was amazing.
His strokes are easy on the eyes too – a good enough backhand lift and flowing follow-through make him a good addition to the club of stylish left-handers.
But apart from these technical matters, his temperament also had to be kept in check when Ravindra was fighting without any pressure on a group of battle-hardened Australians.
The Wellington boy, who was dropped by Glenn Maxwell on his own bowling 100, also compiled good stands with fellow opener Devon Conway (61), 96 with Darryl Mitchell (54) for the third wicket and 54 with Tom Latham (21) for the fourth wicket.
Ravindra reached his hundred off 77 balls with a good six off Maxwell at deep mid-wicket.
This was the 120th over in this World Championship after the opening match of the tournament against England in Ahmedabad.
He also joined Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill and Glenn Turner as the only New Zealand batsmen to score two hundreds in a World Cup.
But it all ended when Ravindra caught Maxwell deep inside Cummins.
Neesham did his best to take the Black Caps home with a breezy fifty, but some forgetful tackles by the Aussies at the dodgy HPCA Stadium pitch in the last few matches denied the New Zealanders a remarkable win. Australia, especially Marnus Labuschagne, were very exceptional at that stage and even had to field five men inside the final match due to a slow pace.
But they mustered all their experience and sportsmanship to be on the right side of the score.
Earlier, Head, who replaced Cameron Green in the playing 11, and Warner took 175 runs in just 19.1 overs.
Head was overly aggressive in his partnership with Warner, treating the New Zealand bowlers with contempt, and it was difficult to imagine that this was actually his first match of the tournament.
The left-hander replaced Mitchell Marsh, who came in at No. 1. 3, at number one and Australia never made the absence of the hard-hitting ‘Bison’ felt.
Australia 388 in 49.2 overs (David Warner 81, Travis Head 109, Glenn Maxwell 41, Josh Inglis 38, Pat Cummins 37; Glenn Phillips 3-37, Trent Boult 3-77, Mitchell Santner 2-80) beat New Zealand 383. /9 in 50 overs (Rasheen Ravindra 116, Darryl Mitchell 54, James Neesham 58; Adam Zampa 3-74, Pat Cummins 2-66, Josh Hazlewood 2-70) by five runs.
Netherlands crush Bangladesh after Edwards fifty and clinical bowling
A clinical bowling effort complemented a valiant half-century from skipper Scott Edwards as Netherlands punched above their weight once again to secure an impressive 87-run win over Bangladesh in the World Cup here on Saturday.
Edwards overcame a sensational start to record a second World Cup fifty and take them to a modest 229 after they elected to bat on the new wicket of Eden hosting its first World Series match.
Bangladesh found themselves ‘home’ as the 15,000-strong crowd were rooting hard for them to revive their campaign after losing four matches in a row.
But their batsmen once again put up an uninteresting display as they could not handle the extra bounce as the Dutch bowlers led by Paul van Meekeren (7.2-0-23-4) weathered the conditions beautifully to bowl them out for 142 in 42.2 overs.
Four single-digit scores from the top six batsmen summed up the plight of the Bangladesh batsmen as they failed to live up to expectations once again. Bas de Leede took 2/25 in seven overs, while Aryan Dutt, Logan van Beek and Colin Ackermann each got one while bowling.
It was Bangladesh’s fifth successive defeat, and their campaign was over with three matches remaining. They will face Pakistan here on Tuesday in the seventh round match.
If the victory over South Africa was not enough, the Dutch, the only participating nation in the tournament, proved that they were far superior to the playing-tested nation as they executed their plans with clinical precision to emerge winners.
Netherlands 229 all in 50 overs (Wesley Parisi 41, Scott Edwards 68, Sybrand Engelbrecht 35; Mustafizur Rahman 2/36, Shariful Islam 2/51, Taskin Ahmed 2/43, Mehidi Hasan 2/40)
Bangladesh are all out in 42.2 overs. Mahdi Hassan Miraz – 35 runs, Mahmoud Allah – 20 runs. Paul van Meckeren-4/23.
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