ICC World Cup: Semifinals as good as decided after NZ thrash SL
Pakistan still have an outside chance of claiming the final place in the knockout stages with a massive win over England in their final group match
New Zealand's five-wicket win over Sri Lanka with as many as 160 balls to spare has boosted their net run rate (NRR) up to +0.743 and almost assured them of a semi-final spot in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023.
New Zealand will now be joining India, South Africa and Australia after their five-wicket win over Sri Lanka in Bengaluru on Thursday. The emphatic victory means that the make-up of the semi-final stage of the event can only change if something dramatic happens.
India are assured of finishing in first place in the points table with South Africa and Australia, placed second and third respectively, and will compete in the semifinal on November 16 at Eden Gardens. Kolkata.
The Black Caps are in the box seat to finish fourth on the points table, and are the most likely opponents for India, though Pakistan still have an outside chance of claiming the final place in the knockout stages with a big win over England in their final group match.
Pakistan's equation to make the semifinals after New Zealand's huge win is a near-impossible one, however: if they bat first, they need to win by a margin of 287 runs at least, and if they chase, they need to dismiss England for 50 runs and reach the target in two overs, or 100 runs in three overs.
All of these appear highly improbable, to put it mildly. Afghanistan's odds are even lower, given their NRR is lower than Pakistan's. They face South Africa on Friday in Ahmedabad.
If the standings stay as they are now, then India will take on New Zealand in Mumbai on 15 November, with South Africa and Australia meeting the next day in Kolkata.
Should Pakistan manage to overtake New Zealand and finish fourth, India's clash with their archrivals will take place in Kolkata on Thursday and the Proteas' clash with the Aussies will switch to Mumbai a day earlier, said a report on the ICC's official website.