England and New Zealand claim rain-affected warm-up wins
England and New Zealand ensured they will both head into Thursday’s ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 opener on a victorious note with warm-up wins in matches interrupted by the weather.
Moeen Ali’s 39-ball 56 proved crucial as England overcame Bangladesh by four wickets in Guwahati, the veteran all-rounder striking six sixes to help the defending champions over the line.
New Zealand edged a similarly rain-affected game in Thiruvananthapuram, beating South Africa by seven runs via the DLS method after the Proteas’ reply was cut short by the elements.
Moeen sees England home
Bangladesh opted to bat when the coin landed in their favour but lost two early wickets, both to Reece Topley, as England started well with the ball.
Tanzid Hasan played nicely for 45 to help his side recover before being bowled by Mark Wood, though Mehidy Hasan Miraz continued to hold the innings together as wickets fell around him.
Mehidy struck 10 boundaries in his 74 either side of a three-hour rain delay but was the seventh man to fall, with the scoreboard reading 173, as one of two scalps for David Willey.
Adil Rashid also finished with two wickets while Topley (3/23) was the pick of the attack as Bangladesh reached 188/9 after their 37 overs.
Mustafizur Rahman struck in the first over of the reply, Dawid Malan edging to slip, but Jonny Bairstow signalled his intent with three consecutive boundaries on his way to 34 from just 21 balls.
Skipper Jos Buttler was also in a positive mood as England set about pursuing their adjusted target of 197, making 30 from 15, but he and Liam Livingstone (7) fell in quick succession to leave the score 114/5.
Enter Moeen, whose 37-ball half-century shifted the momentum towards his side and took them to the verge of the finishing line.
The 36-year-old was caught at deep mid-wicket for 56 but Joe Root, playing the anchor role, struck the winning runs to finish unbeaten on 26 and take his side into competitive action on a high.
Conway shines in Black Caps win
Devon Conway and Tom Latham both struck half-centuries as New Zealand overcame South Africa at Greenfield International Stadium.
Having won the toss and electing to bat, the Kiwis lost Will Young (12) early but Latham combined with Kane Williamson, continuing his return to fitness, to steady the ship.
Both ended up retiring, Williamson on 37 and Conway on 78, to allow their teammates valuable time in the middle and it paid off as Latham compiled a fluent 52 and Glenn Phillips chipped in with 43 from 40 balls.
Daryl Mitchell’s 25 from 16 injected late momentum as New Zealand finished on 321/6, with the wickets shared between Lungi Ngidi (3/33) and Marco Jansen (3/45).
South Africa’s run chase got off to a poor start as Reeza Hendricks fell for a golden duck, trapped in front by Trent Boult, but Quinton de Kock and Rassie van der Dussen got them back on track before the latter departed for 51.
Boult later returned to end a promising fourth-wicket partnership between de Kock and Heinrich Klaasen, who was caught behind for 39. De Kock was unbeaten on 84 when the rain came with his side just shy of the DLS par score.
Both sides will next be in action when the competition is underway. New Zealand entertain England in the opener on Thursday while South Africa begin their campaign against Sri Lanka on Saturday.
Scores in brief
Bangladesh v England at Barsapara Cricket Stadium, Guwahati - England won by four wickets (DLS)
Bangladesh 188/9 in 37 overs (Mehidy Hasan Miraz 74, Tanzid Hasan 45; Reece Topley 3/23, David Willey 2/26).
England 197/6 in 24.1 overs (Moeen Ali 56, Jonny Bairstow 34; Mustafizur Rahman 2/23, Nasum Ahmed 1/20)
Result: England won by four wickets (DLS)
New Zealand v South Africa at Greenfield International Stadium, Thiruvananthapuram – New Zealand won by seven runs (DLS)
New Zealand 321/6 in 50 overs (Devon Conway 78, Tom Latham 52; Lungi Ngidi 3/33, Marco Jansen 3/45)
South Africa 211/4 in 37 overs (Quinton de Kock 84*, Rassie van der Dussen 51; Trent Boult 2/20, Mitchell Santner 1/29)
Result: New Zealand won by seven runs (DLS)