On Thursday New Zealand and Sri Lanka played their last group match of the ICC men’s World Cup 2023. The match was an important one for both sides. Sri Lanka needed to win this match to remain in top 8 for a direct qualification for the ICC Champions trophy 2025, on the other side New Zealand needed two crucial points to be in a strong position to qualify for the semi-finals of the ongoing world cup.
Pakistan chances of qualifying for the semi-finals depended heavily on this match. But a convincing win in this match by New Zealand has diminished Pakistan chances of qualifying for the semi-finals.
New Zealand won the toss and chose to field first in cloudy conditions. New Zealand bowlers hit the perfect lengths and bowled a perfect line right from the word go.
Sri Lankan batters couldn’t build any partnership to put a good sore on the board. They kept on losing wickets from start of their innings. The highest partnership for Sri Lanka was for the last wicket, which contributed 41 runs to end Sri Lankan innings on 171 runs.
Trent Boult took three wickets, while Ferguson, Santner and Ravindra took two wickets each.
New Zealand batters in reply started the chase with aggression, keeping in mind the points table and the run rate factor. Daven Conway and Ravindra gave New Zealand a brilliant and a quick start. Conway scored 45 runs off 42 balls and Ravindra scored 42 runs of 34 balls. Daryl Mitchell who batted at fourth position scored 43 runs to help his team reach near the line.
New Zealand chased the target in 23.2 runs with 5 wickets remaining. With this win New Zealand retained the fourth position on the points table with a net run rate of +0.743.
Pakistan will face England on Saturday. Pakistan has to beat England with a very huge margin to fancy any chances of semi-final qualifications. New Zealand will feel that they have done enough to qualify for the knock out stages of the tournament.