New Delhi: The hopes of Pakistan and Afghanistan cricket suffered a major blow when New Zealand defeated the Sri Lankan team with 5 wickets and 160 balls still left on Thursday.
New Zealand’s victory has put some impossible-looking mountains to climb, in front of Afghanistan and Pakistan, if they wish to qualify for the semifinals.
New Zealand went into the match with an attacking intent and dismissed the whole Sri Lankan innings on a mere 171 runs, and then chased the total down in 23.2 overs, giving themselves a much-needed two points and a huge net run rate boost.
On the other hand, the Sri Lanka team, after suffering the defeat, are almost eliminated from the 2025 Champions Trophy semifinals.
Their only hope will be for either Pakistan or Australia to win their last match with a huge margin, which will take them back into the top 8 on a net run rate basis.
Check out the complete points table below:
|2||South Africa (Q)||8||6||2||0||12||+1.37|
|9||Sri Lanka (E)||9||2||7||0||4||-1.41|
The final four
All four semifinalists are almost confirmed, with New Zealand just waiting for the official confirmation to join India, South Africa and Australia in the elite list.
The host nation, India, was the first team to fix their berth in the semifinals, with an impressive 16 points in 8 matches.
Not the 100s not the stats not the runs but the environment that build under his leadership is matters the most and I haven’t seen something like this ever in Indian cricket and we have to praise Rohit and mangement for creating this beautiful happy environment among the team. pic.twitter.com/02XWqHZ1L2
— HARSHIT CHOUDHARY (@harshitrohit45) November 7, 2023
India is the only undefeated team in the tournament so far and is all set to face New Zealand at Wankhede Stadium on November 15.
The second spot, South Africa, and the third spot, Australia, will play against each other at Eden Gardens on November 16.
The Winning Shot from Glenn Maxwell 🔥
— ƤƘMƘƁ ƠƑƑƖƇƖƛԼ (@PKMKB_93K) November 8, 2023
Both teams still have one match left, but that changes their outcome in any way.
The final entrant is almost confirmed to be the black caps, but the official confirmation will only come after the Pakistan vs England match.
— Rachin Ravindra (@RachinRavindra_) November 9, 2023
Miracles to perform
The two teams who are yet to play a match with a semifinal spot still online will only be playing the match to confirm their elimination.
Afghanistan, who will play first against South Africa on Friday, will have to win by a margin of 438 runs after batting first, and if batting second, they will be eliminated without even facing any ball.
Welcome Atalano! 🤩
— Afghanistan Cricket Board (@ACBofficials) November 10, 2023
Pakistan, on the other hand, have to win by either 287 runs or with 284 balls to spare, both of which are impossible scenarios to pull against any team, let alone the defending champions England.
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) November 9, 2023