Right then, that is it from this game and only four more games remain in the group stage of the 2023 Cricket World Cup. New Zealand, with this big win, have left Pakistan and Afghanistan virtually knocked out of the competition and all four semifinal slots are all but locked in. Up next is a clash between two wounded teams but one of them is already through to the semifinals. It will be South Africa taking on Afghanistan at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. That game will begin at 2 pm IST (8.30 am GMT) but as usual, our build-up will begin a lot sooner. Do join us then. Till then, take care and goodbye!
New Zealand's skipper, Kane Williamson says that it was a really good performance. States that they got early wickets and spin during the middle phase was challenging as well. Mentions that the guys were outstanding in the first half and came out with real intent in the second half. Shares that they expected the wicket in the Pakistan game again to be similar but it was not. Feels that it is hard to read the weather and surface. Reckons that Sri Lanka are a really dangerous side and it can be difficult to defend on this ground. Tells that there are still a couple of teams who can be on the same points and it is now not in their control. Shares that they have not planned yet what they are going to do in the next couple of days. On the potential semi-final against India, he says that these things do not happen often, and feels that it will be great to be involved in the semi-final.
Kusal Mendis, the captain of Sri Lanka Kusal says that in the first 10 overs, they lost four wickets and struggled in the middle overs but did fight back with the tail and reckons 300 would have been a good score on this wicket. Adds that Dilshan Madushanka bowled really well but since it was a small total, it was difficult for him. Adds that he got the captaincy after the first two games and enjoyed the captaincy but is a bit disappointed with his own performance. Says that he is very happy to see the young players putting their hands up and reckons that they will do well in the future.
Trent Boult is the Player of the Match for his early blitz with the ball. He says that it was nice to get a bit of success at the top. Adds that the bigger pleasure is to get the result. Mentions that it is a challenging format and these are challenging conditions to bowl in. Further adds that he used his experience which helped. Shares that conditions have changed a lot throughout the competition and hopes to push for a big finish. Mentions that everyone wants a piece of the host nation, India, who have been playing so well and feels that it will be an exciting game.
The Presentation ceremony...
Earlier in the game, Kane Williamson had no hesitation in fielding first on a pitch that looked like a batting paradise but he was a bit weary of the inclement weather and didn't want to take any risks. This turned out to be a sensational decision as the duo of Tim Southee and Trent Boult picked up early wickets with the latter picking up three inside the first Powerplay itself. With their backs on the ropes, Kusal Perera led the charge for Sri Lanka with a quickfire fifty but once he got out, they were highly under the pump. Mitchell Santner showed excellent control yet again in the middle phase and picked up a couple of wickets as well before Maheesh Theekshana put up a stern resistance. New Zealand did eventually manage to bundle out Sri Lanka for just 171 runs and when it came to the chase, they lost 5 wickets but ensured that the job was done and done inside 25 overs.
Sri Lanka have overcome a lot of adversity throughout this World Cup but their campaign ends in a disappointing way and they have all but been knocked out of the race for a spot in the 2025 ICC Champions Trophy. A big positive for them was Dilshan Madushanka who surprisingly is the leading wicket-taker of the tournament thus far but didn't have the best of games here. Dushmantha Chameera came back from injury in the latter half of the group stage but has proved to be an asset and picked up a wicket as well. Maheesh Theekshana too got a wicket but was hit away early on and it was the clever variations of Angelo Mathews that brought about a couple of more wickets to the Lankans. All in all, a fairly underwhelming last three games from Sri Lanka but they will take a lot of positives heading into the future.
After a string of four defeats, the last of which would have taken a toll on them mentally given the manner of the loss, New Zealand have shown great mental toughness to put on a stellar showing and have virtually set a semifinal date against India. The bowlers had done the job upfront and all the Kiwis needed was a decent partnership up top. They certainly got that and a bit more as both Devon Conway and Rachin Ravindra got into the 40s before getting out and had taken the sting out of the run chase. It was then Daryl Mitchell who came out guns blazing and looked to finish things off in a hurry. The Kiwis lost a couple of more wickets and then Mitchell too got out in the 40s before Glenn Phillips added the finishing touch and wrapped up proceedings in just over 23 overs.
A FOOT AND A HALF IN THE SEMIFINAL FOR NEW ZEALAND! Mathematically, Pakistan still have a chance of making it through to the semifinals, but virtually it will be the Kiwis who will be the fourth and final team to qualify for the knockouts. For Pakistan to qualify, the hypothetical scenario would be as such - if they bat first and score 300 runs, they would need to bowl out England for just 13 runs and if they bowl second and get England bundled out for 50 runs, they would have to chase it in 2.3 overs which looks as close to impossible as it can get.
Dilshan Madushanka to Glenn Phillips, FOUR MORE! Glenn Phillips finishes the game off with back-to-back boundaries! Dilshan Madushanka pulls the length back and tries to go short, over middle and leg, Glenn Phillips swivels in his crease and pulls it hard and to the right of deep square leg for a boundary. A job well done for New Zealand as they win this encounter by 5 wickets and more than 26 overs to spare!
Dilshan Madushanka to Glenn Phillips, FOUR! Straight as an arrow! This is bowled on a fullish length, on off from over the wicket, Glenn Phillips stays still and hammers it past mid off for a boundary. New Zealand are just a hit away now.
END OF OVER 23 | 7 Runs & 1 Wkt | NZ 164/5
Angelo Mathews to Tom Latham, Angling away, on a length, outside off, Tom Latham gets the weight on the front foot and times the drive wide of deep point for a couple of runs.
Angelo Mathews to Tom Latham, A rather optimistic shout for LBW! Serves it fuller in length, around leg, Tom Latham leans on but misses the clip as he gets hit on the front pad. It looked to be pitching outside leg but Angelo Mathews is convinced and Kusal Mendis takes the review. Nothing on UltraEdge but it is pitching outside leg on Ball Tracking. A review more in desperation from Sri Lanka.
Tom Latham is the new man in.
Angelo Mathews to Daryl Mitchell, OUT! IN THE AIR AND GONE! A fantastic grab from Charith Asalanka! Angelo Mathews keeps it slower, on a good length, on off, Daryl Mitchell opens himself up to go inside out. He gets deceived by the slowness of the delivery and goes through his shot early. Mitchell lobs it in the air towards deep point where Charith Asalanka covers good ground to his left and puts in a full-length dive. The ball stays in his hands even as his elbow hits the ground.
Angelo Mathews to Daryl Mitchell, FOUR! Too easy! Angelo Mathews errs in line as he bowls it slower, down leg, on a length, Daryl Mitchell just has to get bat to ball and he does so to help it wide of short fine leg for a boundary.
Angelo Mathews to Glenn Phillips, Length delivery, outside off, Glenn Phillips hangs back and punches it firmly through covers for a single.
Angelo Mathews to Glenn Phillips, At 123.4 kph, seaming away, on a length, around off, Glenn Phillips looks to thrash this one through the off side but the ball nips away to beat the bat.
END OF OVER 22 | 7 Runs & 0 Wkt | NZ 157/4
Dilshan Madushanka to Glenn Phillips, Pitched up on middle and leg, Glenn Phillips plays it late and uses his wrists to tuck it away through mid-wicket for a run.
Dilshan Madushanka to Glenn Phillips, Good length around off, Glenn Phillips stands tall and punches it firmly toward mid off.
Dilshan Madushanka to Glenn Phillips, Hard length over middle, angled across, Glenn Phillips stays back and tucks it away neatly toward the gap at mid-wicket and speeds back for the second run.
Dilshan Madushanka to Glenn Phillips, Wide! Attempted bumper over the left shoulder but this one is spilled down the leg side.
Dilshan Madushanka to Daryl Mitchell, A length ball on middle and leg, hit away on the up and down to long on for one more.