Australia registered their fourth win in a row on Saturday as they defeated New Zealand in a high-scoring Match 27 of the ICC World Cup 2023 in Dharamsala.
New Zealand made a valiant attempt at registering the highest successful run-chase in World Cup history as they went after the target of 389 with all the might they had but fell agonisingly short despite a hundred by Rachin Ravindra.
The Black Caps were eventually stopped at 363 for 8 in 50 overs by the Aussie bowlers after Travis Head's century fired them to 388 in 49.2 overs after being put into bat.
Dharamsala witnesses a record-breaking thriller
This match broke the record for the highest aggregate score in a World Cup ODI with 771 runs, bettering the 754 runs scored in the thriller between South Africa and Sri Lanka in Delhi on October 7.
Ravindra top-scored in the match with a career-best 116, which was also his second century in this tournament at the age of just 23, while Jimmy Neesham’s valiant 58 from 39 balls took New Zealand to the cusp of an extraordinary comeback victory, only for a brilliant run out to remove him off the penultimate ball of the innings.
And Mitchell Starc held his nerve with six required off the last ball, denying number eleven Lockie Ferguson as Australia won a classic to keep their unbeaten record against New Zealand in ODIs since 2017 intact.
Leg-spinner Adam Zampa once again finished the most wickets for the Aussies with 3 for 74 while captain Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood contributed with two scalps each.
Head & Warner lead the way for Australia
Earlier in the day, a brilliant hundred on World Cup debut by Head helped Australia post their third 350-plus score in succession at the picturesque ground in the foothills of the Himalayas.
A remarkable opening partnership between David Warner (81 from 65) and the returning Head (109 from 67) got Pat Cummins’ side off to a blistering start.
Head makes match-winning comeback
Head, who was playing his first match of the tournament after missing out due to a wrist injury, smashed 10 fours and 7 sixes while Warner hit five and six during his swashbuckling knock.
Australia's total proved just enough on the night, as Dharamsala was treated to an all-time epic.
"It was awesome. They just kept coming at us and it was a fantastic game of cricket. Travis has been away for 5 weeks, first hit back in the game and the kind of intent they (openers) showed, they led from the front," Cummins said after the match.