New Zealand and Sri Lanka will face off in an ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 game at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Thursday.
While Sri Lanka is already eliminated from the semifinals race, the match is of utmost importance to the Kiwis. A win will almost confirm its place in the top four as it has a significantly higher Net Run Rate than Pakistan and Afghanistan - the other teams on eight points and in the fray for the fourth spot in the standings.
However, a defeat against Sri Lanka will come as a big blow to the Black Caps and could potentially end their campaign. Though they won’t be eliminated immediately if they lose to the Lankans, they will depend on South Africa beating Afghanistan and England beating Pakistan.
New Zealand will also be sweating over the weather in Bengaluru on Thursday. With rains expected in the city, it will hope the match goes ahead and is not a washout. If New Zealand and Sri Lanka are forced to share points because of inclement weather, the former will again be reduced to hoping Afghanistan and Pakistan lose their last league matches.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, will also have more than just pride to play for. Currently placed ninth in the standings, it will hope to secure a Champions Trophy 2025 berth by moving into the top eight. For that, it will need to win against New Zealand and hope Bangladesh and Netherlands lose their last league matches, against Australia and India, respectively, or don’t surpass its Net Run Rate in case they win.
If Sri Lanka loses to the Kiwis, it could still move into the top eight provided Bangladesh loses comprehensively against Australia and India beats Netherlands.
India, South Africa and Australia have already booked the top three spots on the points table.
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