Published On: Thu, Nov 9th, 2023

New Zealand hammers Lanka, dashes Pakistan hope for semis

New Delhi: New Zealand edged ever closer to semifinals with a big win over Sri  Lanka and visibly dented Pakistan’s chances of making the semi-finals as Pakistan requires a huge win over England in their last league game on Saturday in Kolkata.

New Zealand took their tally to 10 points in 9 matches

New Zealand all but ended Pakistan an Afghanistan’s hopes of making the semi-finals of World Cup 2023 after their resounding win over Sri Lanka in their final league game in Bengaluru on Thursday as it hammered Sri Lanka by 5 wickets by chasing down 172 in just 23.2 overs at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru to boost their Net Run Rate to +0.743.

As the rain stayed away in Bengaluru after threatening to play spoilsport, New Zealand came out with a clinical all-round display. Trent Boult led from the front with the ball, finding form at the right top as he broke open the Sri Lankan top-order after Kane Williamson won the toss and opted to field. Kusal Perera hit a quickfire 51 but it was not enough as Sri Lanka lost 5 wickets in the first 10 overs before Maheesh Theekshana hit an unbeaten 43 to help them huff and puff to 171.

Despite taking 5 wickets, Sri Lanka were never really in the hunt as 40s from openers Devon Conway and Rachin Ravindra and a quickfire 43 from Daryl Mitchell helped them get past the finish line with 26.4 overs to spare.

New Zealand took their tally to 10 points in 9 matches, 2 more than Afghanistan and Pakistan who have a game in hand. It was also their 8th successive win for New Zealand over Sri Lanka as they all but sealed their spot in the semi-finals for the 4th successive time in ODI World Cups.

India, Australia and South Africa have already booked their place in the World Cup semi-finals.

However, Pakistan have at least got a mathematical chance to make the semi-finals by leapfrogging New Zealand in the points table while the chances look very bleak for Afghanistan.

If Pakistan bats first and scores 300, they need to restrict England to 13. They need to maintain a margin of 287 runs if they score more than 300 runs in Kolkata.

If Pakistan bowls first. their chances look very bleak. Even if they shoot out England for 100, they need to chase down the total in 2.5 overs, meaning win with 283 balls to spare.

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