New Zealand Secures World Cup Semi-Final Spot, Set to Face India in Repeat Showdown of 2019 Clash

Featured & Cover Virat Kohli (L) and Trent Boult during India's match against New Zealand during 2023 World Cup's group stage(AP

New Zealand has officially secured a spot in the semi-finals of the 2023 World Cup, setting up a clash with India reminiscent of the 2019 tournament. The Kiwis’ advancement was confirmed when Pakistan fell short in chasing a formidable 338-run target against England within an unlikely 6.4 overs. Although Pakistan could potentially match New Zealand’s 10 points, they can no longer surpass the Kiwis on Net Run Rate (NRR).

Before the final set of group matches at the 2023 World Cup, Pakistan needed Sri Lanka to defeat New Zealand for a smoother path to securing a spot in the final four. A loss for the Kiwis would have given Pakistan an opportunity to surpass them in points with a victory over England. However, the Lankans suffered a crushing five-wicket defeat in Bengaluru.

India is set to face New Zealand in the ODI World Cup semi-finals for the second consecutive time. Four years ago, the Kiwis emerged victorious in a rain-affected match in Manchester, resulting in a 21-run loss for India across two days. In the current edition, India had previously defeated a Williamson-less New Zealand side by 4 wickets in the group stage last month. With the return of their captain, the Kiwis present a formidable challenge to India’s aspirations of reaching their first World Cup final since their 2011 triumph in Mumbai.

Despite the earlier setback, India enters the semi-final with increased confidence, poised to finish at the top of the group stage after their last match against the Netherlands on Sunday. Rohit Sharma’s team has maintained an undefeated record throughout the tournament and aims to continue this streak against the Dutch side in Bengaluru.

The match on Sunday will mark the conclusion of the group stage, with India resuming action on Wednesday for the first semi-final in Mumbai. Following that, South Africa will face Australia in the second semi-final in Kolkata on Thursday.

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