New Zealand cricket team sustained their impeccable World Cup campaign start with a commanding 99-run victory over the Netherlands in Hyderabad on Monday.
The Kiwis victory has seen them come into equal third favourite to win the World Cup with cricket betting sites, equal with England on $7, with India ($2.50) and Australia ($6) ahead of them in the betting.
It also means the Kiwis record at the ODI World Cup has gone to 2-0 after they comprehensively outpointed England in their tournament opener.
While the win against the Netherlands was expected, coach Gary Stead will be happy with the depth of contributions from both his batting line-up and bowlers.
The Kiwi, after opting to bat first, posted a strong total of 322-7, courtesy of significant contributions from openers Will Young, Tom Latham, and Rachin Ravindra, who each scored half-centuries.
In reply, The Netherlands, experiencing a tough start to the tournament with two consecutive losses, struggled to keep pace with the required run rate, consequently losing wickets at regular intervals. Colin Ackermann’s valiant effort, a 69-run knock, helped the Dutch team scrape to 223 in 46.3 overs. Mitchell Santner emerged as New Zealand’s lead bowler, claiming 5-59.
New Zealand is aiming to qualifying for the World Cup final for the third consecutive time, and their opening two matches have produced the type of cricket we have become accustomed to from this outfit.
With the imminent return of captain Kane Williamson possibly in the next match, the positions of Young and Ravindra, who scored 70 and 51 respectively, might come under question. However, both players exhibited patience and prowess in their batting, especially with shots down the ground. Santner’s late onslaught, contributing a quick 36 off 17 balls, provided a much-needed boost to the innings’ tail end.
The New Zealand squad’s deliberate strategy might undergo rigorous tests against superior opponents where totals might need to exceed 322, especially considering the nature of various grounds in India. Matt Henry’s stellar performance with the new ball, claiming 3-40 runs, and the combined effort of spinners Santner and Ravindra further dented the Dutch batting lineup.
Despite Ackermann’s resilient innings, marked by exquisite leg-side strokes, the Netherlands’ highest partnership of 50 runs fell substantially short of challenging the formidable total set by the Kiwis. Notably, the Dutch team also exhibited some poor running between the wickets, which further undermined their chase.
As the Cricket World Cup progresses, the focus shifts to how New Zealand will configure their playing XI, especially with the anticipated return of Williamson and paceman Tim Southee. Mark Chapman, who had a muted performance with the bat scoring only five runs and has yet to bowl in the tournament, might make way for a returning player. With upcoming matches set in Chennai — a venue known for favouring spin — leg-spinner Ish Sodhi might also be considered for selection in the playing XI.
New Zealand is slated to face off against Bangladesh this Friday from 7:30PM AEST. The Netherlands, seeking to reverse their fortune, will clash with South Africa on October 17 at the same time.
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