New Zealand march towards Cricket World Cup semis with win over Sri Lanka

New Zealand march towards Cricket World Cup semis with win over Sri Lanka

New Zealand took a significant stride towards the Cricket World Cup semi-finals with a five-wicket win over Sri Lanka in Bangalore.

The Black Caps showcased their prowess with the ball, restricting Sri Lanka to a meager 171 runs before efficiently chasing down the target in less than 24 overs.

Sri Lanka's batting woes were evident from the start as Pathum Nissanka's early departure in the second over set the tone for a challenging innings. Despite a spirited effort from Kusal Perera, who notched up 51 runs from 28 balls, the Sri Lankan innings faltered as wickets fell consistently.

The top order crumbled with Kusal Mendes contributing only six runs, Sadeera Samarawickrama managing just one, and Charith Asalanka departing for eight runs. Mitchell Santner's catch off Lockie Ferguson's delivery that dismissed Perera at 70-5 within 10 overs signaled a grim outlook for Sri Lanka.

While Maheesh Theekshana led a brief resistance with an unbeaten 38, Rachin Ravindra's final wicket ensured Sri Lanka was bowled out for 171. Trent Boult returned figures of 3-37 after the Kiwis elected to field first.

In response, Devon Conway and Ravindra formed a formidable partnership, amassing 86 runs, half of the required total, before being dismissed in quick succession. Angelo Mathews disrupted the Kiwi momentum by dismissing Kane Williamson, but New Zealand continued their steady march towards victory.

A moment of confusion in the 21st over saw Mark Chapman run out, but Daryl Mitchell's aggressive innings of 43, concluded with a brilliant catch by Asalanka. Despite the hiccup, New Zealand, needing just 10 runs, remained resolute. Glenn Phillips delivered the finishing blow with a spectacular four, ending a streak of four consecutive defeats.

With this triumph, New Zealand stand on the brink of securing a spot in the semi-finals, with only Pakistan and Afghanistan having the power to deny them as they face England and South Africa in their upcoming matches.

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