Cricket World Cup 2023: New Zealand beat Sri Lanka to stay in semifinal hunt

The Kiwis are in a three-way battle with Pakistan and Afghanistan for the last semifinal berth


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Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Published: Thu 9 Nov 2023, 6:19 PM

Last updated: Thu 9 Nov 2023, 6:50 PM

New Zealand stayed in the hunt for a semifinal berth at the ODI World Cup by defeating Sri Lanka in Bengaluru on Thursday.

The Kiwis, who are in the race with Pakistan and Afghanistan for the last semifinal spot, won by 5 wickets.

Earlier, fast bowler Trent Boult led an inspired attack as New Zealand bundled out Sri Lanka for 171.

New Zealand elected to field first and the bowlers backed up the decision with regular wickets despite an attacking 51 by Kusal Perera.

Sri Lanka slipped to 128-9 before Maheesh Theekshana hit an unbeaten 38 and frustrated the Kiwi bowlers in a 10th-wicket stand of 43 with Dilshan Madushanka, who made 19, before the innings folded in 46.4 overs.

Left-arm quick Boult returned figures of 3-37, while fellow pace bowler Lockie Ferguson, spinners Mitchell Santner and Rachin Ravindra took two wickets each.

Sri Lanka lost half their side for 70 inside 10 overs after Ferguson sent back the left-handed Perera, who hit nine fours and two sixes in his 28-ball knock.

Perera was dropped on nought by wicketkeeper Tom Latham off Tim Southee who struck with a wicket on the next ball to send back Pathum Nissanka, caught behind for two.

Boult then got the wickets of skipper Kusal Mendis (six), Sadeera Samarawickrama (one) and Charith Asalanka (eight), who was given not out but the Kiwis successfully reviewed the decision in their favour.

The Mendis strike was Boult's 50th World Cup wicket Cup to enter elite company including Glenn McGrath, Muttiah Muralitharan, Mitchell Starc, Lasith Malinga and Wasim Akram.

Santner struck twice with his left-arm spin to get the key wickets of Angelo Mathews (16) and Dhananjaya de Silva (19).

Mathews looked dejected after being caught at slip off Santner's left-arm spin in his first innings after his "timed out" dismissal -- the first in international cricket history -- in the team's previous loss to Bangladesh.

The Black Caps had lost four straight matches but remain slight favourites in the hunt for the remaining semifinal spot as they have a better run rate than rivals Pakistan and Afghanistan.


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