New Zealand defeated Sri Lanka comfortably in their last group stage match to almost confirm their place in the semi-finals. The Kiwi bowlers gave them a boost by restricting Sri Lanka to a low total and then in the second innings they chased down the target convincingly. Now they have earned 10 points which has put them in a comfortable position in terms of their qualification to the knockouts. Whereas Sri Lanka ended their campaign with a crushing defeat. Sri Lanka’s qualification to the 2025 Champions Trophy will depend on Bangladesh’s performance in their last group-stage match. Let’s take a look at the top 3 talking points from this encounter.
The Kiwi bowlers back in rhythm before the knockouts
Before this match, the New Zealand bowling attack was going through a lean patch. They went for runs against Australia, South Africa, and Pakistan before coming into this match. Against Sri Lanka, the bowlers stepped up on a batting-friendly track in Bengaluru. Trent Boult got back into the groove with his brilliant performance, especially in the initial spell. There were contributions from Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, and Mitchell Santner as well. This is good news for the Blackcaps fans as bowlers will be very crucial in the knockouts.
Another failure for the Sri Lankan batting order
Sri Lanka’s batting order has a lot of potential but it has been unable to deliver the promise. They have got some serious talents in their ranks but the performance is still missing. They once again failed against New Zealand. There were no major contributions from the Sri Lankan middle order which prevented them from posting a big total in the first innings. Now their fate hangs in balance as their Champions Trophy qualification is at stake. If Sri Lanka fails to qualify for the Champions Trophy it will be one of the biggest disappointments in their cricketing history.
New Zealand set for the Semi-finals
For all practical purposes, it seems that the Kiwis have again found a way to make their place in yet another Semi-final. The convincing victory over Sri Lanka has put them in a very comfortable position as their Net Run Rate is much better than Pakistan’s. For Pakistan to overtake New Zealand they must win against England by a margin of 288 runs or chase down the target with 284 deliveries to spare. The qualification scenario looks extremely difficult for Pakistan which has almost put a stamp on New Zealand’s qualification.