With epic close counters, and nail-biting finishes throughout the tournament, there’s another chance to see yet more thrills in what lies ahead in the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup, 2023. 

The World Cup is all set gearing for the end game as teams are battling hard to make their way into the semifinals but only the top 4 teams will be heading towards the next phase of the tournament. 

As things are getting pretty difficult we have seen major upsets in this edition of the world cup where Afghanistan outplayed England, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan secured a huge win keeping their hope for semifinals alive.

One such team that is facing challenges to qualify for the semifinal race is New Zealand, BlackCaps suffered a crushing defeat against the Proteas, where the Proteas defeated the now Latham-led side by 190 runs. 

The BlackCaps will be facing Pakistan in the next few hours. All are waiting keenly for November 4, 2023 when a massive M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru. 

Pakistan are coming from a comfortable win in their last match against Bangladesh.

Pakistan enjoy a great record against New Zealand in ODIs as they have played 72 matches where Pakistan has managed to win 42 matches, and New Zealand with 25 wins, leaving 5 matches with No result. 

The men in green will be keen to showcase their best performance against Kiwis and they need a win to boost their confidence and make their position strong for the Semifinals.

Qualifying Scenario for New Zealand to Semi-Finals

New Zealand started strong with four wins, but their fortunes took a downturn- well, at least, a bit- as they lost their next three matches. 

Their Net Run Rate (NRR) also suffered a significant blow following a major defeat to South Africa, and a string of injuries further complicates their prospects.

If they manage to secure victories in their remaining two matches, totalling 12 points, New Zealand will still have a promising chance of advancing. 

However, a loss to Pakistan on Saturday leaves both teams tied at eight points each after playing an equal number of games. 

If one ever wanted an interesting scenario, then this is it? Some thrills and right on the heels of the semi final stage. Could it get better? Well, who knows? We may just have a cracker of a game ahead. Having said that, let’s dig deep. 

Where it stands as of now, a loss by a margin of 84 runs or more (while chasing a target of 301) would see New Zealand slip below Pakistan in terms of NRR. If Afghanistan triumphs over the Netherlands on Friday, they too will join the eight-point club, and Sri Lanka might also be in contention.

Key Strengths that New Zealand have as compared to other teams:

New Zealand have an in-form top order that is contributing runs consistently and has troubled the opposition teams in multiple matches. 

Moreover, one of the great finds for the BlackCaps, Rachin Ravindra has scored 406 runs in 7 matches and picked up 3 wickets. He scored 2 centuries in the tournament and has been a starting performer for the side contributing with both bat and bowl.

On the other hand, Devon Conway has been slightly off track he started well with an outstanding knock of 152 runs in the opener match against England but since then he has yet to score a half-century in the tournament. 

Daryl Mitchell is consistently scoring runs for the side in the middle order and playing a critical role in the batting unit. Mitchell has scored 346 runs in the 7 matches played so far. 

However, he has yet to showcase his heroics with the bowl.

The key strength for New Zealand in this tournament is their bowling, as Mitchell Santner is performing significantly well for the side picking wickets at regular intervals and has grabbed 14 wickets in the 7 matches played. 

Matt Henry’s performance is one of the major boosts for the side as his pace and swing abilities are creating challenges for the batters. 

Henry has picked 11 wickets in the 7 matches played.

Overall, New Zealand has a good chance of making the World Cup 2023 semi-finals, but they will need to perform well in their remaining matches and rely on other results going their way.

Image source– The Cricketer magazine


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