2023 ODI World Cup digest: New Zealand cruise to 3-0, small matter of India vs Pakistan

The Men’s 2023 ODI World Cup is underway in India and runs from October 5 until November 19. Each morning we will round up the latest action and news from the event and bring you the insights from our reporters on the ground.

Top Story: NZ make it three wins in three, but Williamson goes off hurt

New Zealand 248 for 2 (Conway 89*, Williamson 78, Mustafizur 1-36) beat Bangladesh 245 for 9 (Mushfiqur 66, Shakib 41*, Ferguson 3-49) by eight wickets

Kane Williamson resumed international cricket by doing Kane Williamson things, scoring a precise 78 against Bangladesh. He shepherded New Zealand close to the eight-wicket win, but couldn’t quite see the chase through, as he left the field retired hurt in the 39th over. Daryl Mitchell got New Zealand home with 43 balls to spare, putting the seal on the team’s dominating start to this World Cup.

Williamson missed seven months of competitive cricket due to a right knee injury he sustained during last season’s IPL, and his World Cup return was thought to be improbable at the time. Even when he was named in the New Zealand side as their captain, he was expected to miss the initial stages of the competition. But not only did he return sooner than expected, Williamson showed little drop in quality, as he went through the gears against Bangladesh.

Match analysis: Ferguson’s spell from hell

Lockie Ferguson running in hard and pounding the pitch harder can spook batters. Just ask Imam-ul-Haq, who was floored by a rip-snorting bouncer in Abu Dhabi in 2018. Or Eoin Morgan, who fell on his backside during that World Cup final at Lord’s in 2019. In his very first World Cup, Ferguson’s rapid pace and bounce gave New Zealand’s attack the cutting edge.

Four years on, Ferguson continues to intimidate batters with that pace and bounce. That he has managed to do so at Chepauk, which is usually a paradise for spinners, is extraordinary. It was almost like Neil Wagner in operation with one-day restrictions in place, as my colleague Karthik Krishnaswamy described it. With a square-ish gully, backward point, deep third and often two men patrolling the leg-side boundary, Ferguson unleashed a no-holds-barred short-ball assault on Bangladesh.

Must Watch: Where have Bangladesh faltered?

News headlines

Kane Williamson and Shakib Al Hasan will both have scans on Saturday after picking up injuries overnight. Williamson injured his left thumb after being struck by a throw while batting and retired hurt. Shakib hurt his left quad while batting. He bowled 10 overs but left the field after 37 overs of New Zealand’s chase and did not return
Shubman Gill is “99% available” for India’s clash with Pakistan in Ahmedabad on Saturday, Rohit Sharma said in a press interaction on the eve of the game.

Match preview

India vs Pakistan, Ahmedabad (2pm IST; 8.30am GMT; 7.30pm AEST)

On Saturday, Ahmedabad won’t just be the epicentre of Indian cricket, but world cricket, with 132,000 people – a decent chunk being celebrities, industrialists, politicians, friends of politicians and, of course, cricket administrators – congregating at what they say is the world’s biggest cricket stadium to witness a match that makes the cricket economy – bilateral non-relations notwithstanding.

Welcome to instalment eight of India vs Pakistan at men’s 50-over World Cups. Depending on whether you plan to sport blue or green on the day, you probably feel like gloating over that unmatched record or need no reminding of the duck you hope will become “ek-saath”. In literal terms, that means “together” – like administrators from both sides who spar at boardrooms and in the media will be – but in this cricketing context, it refers to the scoreline that Pakistani fans, and the players, will hope for at the end of the night: 1-7.

Team news

India: 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Ishan Kishan/Shubman Gill, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Shreyas Iyer, 5 KL Rahul (wk), 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Shardul Thakur, 9 Jasprit Bumrah, 10 Kuldeep Yadav, 11 Mohammed Siraj

Pakistan: 1 Abdullah Shafique, 2 Imam-ul-Haq, 3 Babar Azam (capt), 4 Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 5 Saud Shakeel, 6 Ifthikhar Ahmed, 7 Shadab Khan, 8 Mohammad Nawaz, 9 Shaheen Afridi, 10 Hasan Ali/Mohammad Wasim, 11 Haris Rauf

Comment: Sidharth Monga’s India vs Pakistan fever dream

Fans get in the mood before the gameā€¢Associated Press

Last night was the first in three that I went to sleep without fever. At around 4am, I woke up with fever, and a fever dream.

I have had quite a few of these through the last three nights: repetitive, vivid, all-consuming, still extremely difficult to remember when I wake up with a parched throat. And yet I have been going back to the same dream when going back to sleep.

I vaguely do remember meeting the ghost of a cricket match in my dream. I call it IP. Short for India vs Pakistan. IP has been extremely anxious, passing the anxiety on to me. Not that I am not anxious already. I don’t remember the conversations we have been having well enough to reproduce them verbatim, so please bear with my paraphrasing.

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