Openers are the best batters for any team in the game of cricket. They are the most skilled batters on the team. That is why most of the big partnerships in the game, especially in the white-ball format, come from the opening batters. And one such stat we will cover in this article. New Zealand is known for having a strong batting lineup.
Irrespective of the formats, the Kiwis have always fielded a strong batting unit. The likes of Stephen Fleming, Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Nathan Astle, and Brendon McCullum are some of the best openers from New Zealand who have made many big partnerships in ODIs. And here we will talk about the highest opening stand for New Zealand in 50-over cricket.
Highest Opening Partnership in ODI by New Zealand
|James Marshall and Brendon McCullum||274||Ireland||Aberdeen||1 Jul 2008|
|Martin Guptill and Tom Latham||236*||Zimbabwe||Harare||4 Aug 2015|
|Lou Vincent and Stephen Fleming||204||Zimbabwe||Bulawayo||24 Aug 2005|
|Stephen Fleming and Nathan Astle||193||Pakistan||Dunedin||28 Feb 2001|
|Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum||166*||Zimbabwe||Ahmedabad||4 Mar 2011|
|Jesse Ryder and Brendon McCullum||166||India||Christchurch||8 Mar 2009|
|Jesse Ryder and Brendon McCullum||165*||England||Hamilton||12 Feb 2008|
|Martin Crowe and John Wright||158||Bangladesh||Sharjah||28 Apr 1990|
|Bryan Young and Nathan Astle||155||Pakistan||Mohali||9 May 1997|
|Mathew Sinclair and Nathan Astle||153||Zimbabwe||Wellington||4 Jan 2001|
3. Lou Vincent and Stephen Fleming (204) vs Zimbabwe in 2005
The third highest opening partnership for New Zealand came way back in August 2005. It came against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo. Zimbabwe decided to field first as they won the toss. The match was interrupted by rain and reduced to 44 overs per side. New Zealand had a brilliant start to their inning, and both openers had 204 runs for the first wicket in 27.5 overs. Skipper Stephen Fleming got out after scoring 93 runs.
Lou Vincent carried on and scored his career-best score. He made 172 runs off just 120 balls, with 16 fours and nine sixes. New Zealand registered their third-highest ODI score of 397/5 in just 44 overs. The target was way too much for Zimbabwe, as they got dismissed for just 205 runs in 43 overs. Thus, New Zealand registered a big win of 192 runs.
2. Martin Guptill and Tom Latham (236*) vs Zimbabwe in 2015
New Zealand registered their second highest opening stand on August 4, 2015, against Zimbabwe in Harare. It came in the second game of the three-match series. Batting first, Zimbabwe reached a total of 235/9 in their first inning. Sikandar Raza was the lone survivor, who made an unbeaten century. He made 100 not out with five four and four sixes. It looked like an easy chase for New Zealand, and their openers also played in that fashion.
Both openers scored a hundred each and helped their team register a 10-wicket win. The pair of Martin Guptill and Tom Latham added an unbeaten 236 runs in 42.2 overs to win the game. Guptill made 116 not out with 11 fours and one six. Latham made an unbeaten 110, including seven fours and two sixes. This was also New Zealand’s third highest ODI partnership for any wicket.
1. James Marshall and Brendon McCullum (274) vs Ireland in 2008
The highest partnership, which is also the highest opening stand for New Zealand, came when they scored their highest ODI score. It came in July 2008, when they locked horns with Ireland in Aberdeen. New Zealand scored a mammoth total of 402/2 in their first inning. It is still the only time that the Black Caps have scored over 400 runs. And it became possible with a big opening partnership.
James Marshall and Brendon McCullum scored 274 runs for the first wicket in 42.2 overs to give their team a great platform. Both batters played 150-plus knocks. Marshall scored 161 runs off 141 balls, with 11 fours and four sixes. McCullum scored 166 off 135 balls, including 12 fours and 10 sixes. It proved to be a huge score to chase for Ireland, and they got dismissed for just 112 runs in 28.4 overs. New Zealand registered the second highest ODI win by a margin of 290 runs.