Exciting Showdown: New Zealand Takes on Sri Lanka in 41st Match of 2023/24 Season

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New Zealand booked a place in the World Cup semi-final against India with a five-wicket win against Sri Lanka, securing ten points and a NRR of 0.743. This left Pakistan needing to beat England by 287 runs and Afghanistan needing a 438-run win over South Africa, to surpass New Zealand’s NRR. A chase from Pakistan would result in no chance of qualifying.

Sri Lanka’s defeat left them in ninth place, out of qualification for the 2025 Champions Trophy. They need England or Bangladesh to suffer defeats, and Netherlands to also lose to India, for their respective NRRs to drop below Sri Lanka’s. New Zealand’s win was the result of a solid bowling effort and disappointed batting by Sri Lanka.

The threat of rain in Bengaluru proved to be a red herring. On a pitch that proved better to bat on under lights, Ravindra and Conway put on 86 to open the chase, followed by Mitchell’s 43 off just 31 balls to secure the victory. New Zealand’s dominance led to a comfortable win despite dropping three catches.

Kusal Perera counterattacked for Sri Lanka amid early blows but was eventually dismissed by Ferguson. Mitchell Santner’s guile, control, and subtle variations in pace were too good for Sri Lanka. Chamika Karunaratne, Maheesh Theekshana, Dushmantha Chameera, and Dilshan Madushanka showed resistance in the lower innings.

New Zealand’s win has all but ensured a fifth consecutive ODI World Cup semi-final.

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