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New Zealand inches closer to 2023 world cup semifinal as they beat Sri Lanka by 5 wickets

Fast bowler Trent Boult picked up 3-37 as New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by five wickets on Thursday to edge closer to the last remaining semifinal spot at the Cricket World Cup.

Boult, who had previously picked up 10 wickets in eight games, roared back to form at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium as Sri Lanka was bowled out for 171 in 46.4 overs.

Fit-again paceman Lockie Ferguson claimed 2-35 in 10 overs, including two maidens, while left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner bagged 2-22 as the Black Caps made easy work of a must-win game.

In reply, New Zealand hurried to 172-5 in 23.2 overs thanks to Devon Conway (45), Rachin Ravindra (42) and Daryl Mitchell (43).

The victory means New Zealand is fourth with 10 points from nine games and a net run-rate of plus-0.922. Pakistan and Afghanistan can still overtake the Black Caps but will need to win their final league games against England (Nov. 11) and South Africa (Nov. 10) respectively.

The big winning margin, especially chasing down the total with 26.4 overs to spare, virtually eliminates Afghanistan, which has a net run-rate of minus-0.338. Pakistan needs another big winning margin against England in Kolkata to upset the apple cart on the league stage’s penultimate day.

India, South Africa and Australia have already qualified for the knockout stages as the top three sides in the table. New Zealand seems likely to face hosts India in the first semi in Mumbai on Nov. 15 while South Africa plays Australia in the second semi in Kolkata on Nov. 16.

Sri Lanka’s hopes of securing qualification for the 2025 Champions Trophy were dealt a blow. It needed a win to boost its chances of finishing in the top eight at the World Cup but finished ninth after completing its nine league games.

Sri Lanka is equal on four points with England, Bangladesh and Netherlands but only ahead of the Dutch on run-rate, and will now depend on the last matches of those three sides. The top eight teams in this World Cup – including hosts Pakistan – will qualify for the Champions Trophy.

Press Release, Source: AP News


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