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09/11/23 | 10:59 pm

ICC CWC 2023: New Zealand hammer Sri Lanka to virtually seal semi-final berth

By: Aditya Ahuja 

New Zealand hammered Sri Lanka by 5 wickets at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, virtually sealing their spot for the semi-finals against India. This marked New Zealand's 5th win in the tournament, which came after four back to back losses.

Sri Lanka bowled out for 171
Opting to bowl after winning the toss, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson's decision paid off early as Trent Boult (3-37) and Tim Southee (1-52) dismantled Sri Lanka's top order, leaving them reeling at 32-3 within five overs. Despite Kusal Perera's aggressive 22-ball fifty, Boult to pressure Sri Lankan batters, as he trapped Charith Asalanka lbw.

Mitchell Santner played a crucial role, dismissing Angelo Mathews (16) and Dhananjaya de Silva (19), while Maheesh Theekshana and Dilshan Madushanka frustrated New Zealand with a 43-run 10th-wicket stand. Sri Lanka were eventually bowled out for 171.

New Zealand Chase Down in 23.2 overs
New Zealand begain their chase with openers Devon Conway (45) and Rachin Ravindra (42) forming a solid partnership, amassing 86 runs in 74 balls. But after that, the Lankans kept picking up wickets at regular intervals, dismissing the Kiwi skipper cheaply for 14. Then Mark Chapman sacrificed his wicket and got run out after miscommunication with Daryl Mitchell. But, Mitchell's quickfire 43 runs of 31 balls made sure that the Kiwis finish things early. He was dismissed just when New Zealand were on the brink of a victory.

Glenn Phillips (17* off 10) hit two back to back boundaries and propelled the Kiwis to victory in the 24th over.

The back-in-form speedster Trent Boult was adjudged 'Player of the Match' for his brilliant spell of 3 wickets for just 37 runs.

Sri Lanka's Champions Trophy 2025 hopes at risk
Sri Lanka's seventh defeat in nine games leaves them ninth in the points table and they now need favours from other teams to end up in the top seven on net run-rate and qualify for the 2025 Champions Trophy.

India-New Zealand Semi-Final
New Zealand, holding the fourth position with 10 points, now have a superior net run-rate, virtually eliminating Pakistan and Afghanistan from the semi-finals contention.

The top placed team in the points table will play the fourth placed team in the first semi-final of the ICC Men’s Cricket World, scheduled for Wednesday next week.

Unless there is a last minute miracle, in all probability, the Blackcaps will be up against the table toppers, the 'Men in Blue', on November 15, at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

Final scores: SL 171 all-out (46.4) | NZ 172-5 (23.2) 

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