New Zealand all but assured of a semi-final spot after five-wicket win over Sri Lanka

Tags: World Cup 2023, New Zealand vs Sri Lanka, 41st Match at Bengaluru, Nov 09, 2023

Published on: Nov 10, 2023

Scorecard | Commentary | Graphs

New Zealand ended their four-match losing streak in the 2023 World Cup with a five-wicket triumph over Sri Lanka in match number 41 at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Thursday, November 9. With the win the Kiwis are all but assured of a semi-final spot and look set to face India on November 15 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Even if Pakistan and Afghanistan win their respective last matches, it will be next to impossible for them to go past New Zealand’s net run rate.

Fielding first after winning the toss, New Zealand came up with a clinical display to bowl out Sri Lanka for 171 in 46.4 overs. Left-arm pacer Trent Boult was the star performer with figures of 3/37 from his 10 overs. Lockie Ferguson, Mitchell Santner and Rachin Ravindra chipped in with two scalps each. In the chase, the Kiwis lost five wickets, but romped home to 23.2 overs to further improve their net run rate.

Tim Southee got New Zealand off to a great start with the ball, having Pathum Nissanka caught behind for 1. Sri Lanka kept losing wickets at one end even as Kusal Perera (51 off 28) attacked at the other. Skipper Kusal Mendis (6) was caught off the leading edge at third man, trying to go after Boult. In the same over, Sadeera Samarawickrama (1) was caught at slip off the same bowler.

A smart review saw Charith Asalanka (8) being trapped before to Boult. Sri Lanka had lost half their side for 70 when Perera hit one straight up in the air while trying to go after Ferguson. Santner then had Angelo Mathews (16) and Dhananjaya de Silva (19) caught at slip. Maheesh Theekshana (38 not out off 91) and Dilshan Madushanka (19 off 48) added 43 runs for the last wicket to take Sri Lanka past 170.

In the chase, New Zealand got off to a solid start as Devon Conway (45 off 42) and Ravindra (42 off 34) added 86 in 12.2 overs. Both openers fell in quick succession before skipper Kane Williamson (14) dragged one from Matthews back onto his stumps. Daryl Mitchell chipped in with 43 off 31 even as Mark Chapman (7) sacrificed his wicket after a mix-up with the former. Glenn Phillips (17 not out off 10) brought up New Zealand’s win in style, pulling Dilshan Madushanka to the deep backward square leg for four.

--By A Cricket Correspondent

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