Ending their four-match losing streak, the Kiwis showcased a dominating performance by chasing down their 172-run target with a whopping 160 balls to spare that helped them boost their net run rate significantly.
This victory propelled New Zealand to 10 points, becoming the fourth team to seal the last semi-final spot in all probability, alongside India, South Africa, and Australia.
India lead the table with 16 points from their unbeaten streak of eight matches, while South Africa are No. 2 with 12 points and Australia placed third with 12 points as well but behind the Proteas on net run rate (NRR).
New Zealand’s victory left both Pakistan and Afghanistan needing improbable victory margins in their last matches against England and South Africa respectively to have any chance of making the final four.
ICC World Cup 2023: New Zealand beat Sri Lanka, are almost through to the semifinals
Both the teams have eight points from 8 matches but Pakistan are ahead of Afghanistan to sit in fifth place by virtue of better NRR.
What Pakistan need to do to make it into the semis?
The burning question now emerges: will fans be treated to another India-Pakistan clash at the World Cup? However, the likelihood of a ‘yes’ seems highly unlikely as Pakistan have a mountain to climb in front of them.
The 1992 champions Pakistan will have to achieve the unachievable. They need to win by a margin of 287 runs at least and if they are chasing, they need to dismiss England for 50 runs and chase the target in two overs or 100 runs in three overs.
The table topper India will square off against a fourth-placed team which would be in all likelihood New Zealand on November 15 at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. While South Africa and Australia will be up against each other in the second semifinal on Nov 16 at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
Watch ICC World Cup 2023: New Zealand beat Sri Lanka, are almost through to the semifinals