NZ vs SL ICC CWC 2023 Match 41 Report: New Zealand stamped their authority in the World Cup, securing a spot in the semi-finals with a commanding five-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in Bengaluru. The win was achieved with a whopping 160 balls to spare, elevating New Zealand to ten points, and a net run rate (NRR) of 0.743. This left Pakistan facing the Herculean task of beating England by 287 runs, while Afghanistan needed a staggering 438-run win over South Africa to surpass New Zealand’s NRR.
In contrast, if Pakistan were to chase, their chances of qualifying would be nonexistent. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka found themselves in the unfortunate position of languishing in ninth place, effectively ruling them out of contention for the 2025 Champions Trophy. Their only hope rested on England or Bangladesh suffering defeats, coupled with a loss for the Netherlands against India, resulting in their respective NRRs dropping below Sri Lanka’s.
New Zealand’s win was all written by their all-around performance with both bat and ball. Despite the initial threat of rain in Bengaluru, winning the toss and opting to bowl against Sri Lanka proved a strategic move. This decision paved the way for an NRR-boosting victory and acted as a precaution against rain interruptions and DLS interventions.
The Kiwis handled Sri Lanka’s 171 with ease, with key contributions from Devon Conway, Rachin Ravindra, and Daryl Mitchell, each making significant forties. Under the lights, Ravindra and Conway’s 86-run partnership set the stage for Mitchell’s aggressive 43 off 31 balls, ultimately securing victory. Despite the late wickets, the outcome was never in doubt.
The ease of New Zealand’s triumph was attributed to their solid bowling performance and Sri Lanka’s erratic batting display. New Zealand’s bowlers, including Lockie Ferguson, Mitchell Santner, and Ravindra, claimed two wickets. Trent Boult’s impressive figures of 3 for 37 set the tone, earning him the well-deserved Player-of-the-Match award.
Remarkably, New Zealand won comfortably despite dropping three catches. Kusal Perera’s counterattack for Sri Lanka, marked by aggressive stroke play and a quick half-century, couldn’t salvage the innings. Even as wickets fell at one end, Perera stood as a lone warrior, punishing New Zealand for the early drop.
Sri Lanka’s innings crumbled to 70 for 5, but Angelo Mathews and Dhananjaya de Silva offered mild resistance. Dhananjaya, reprieved by Latham’s drop, found it challenging to withstand Santner’s guile and variations in pace. Mathews, potentially in his last World Cup innings, fell to a floated delivery, nudging the ball to Mitchell at slip.
Chamika Karunaratne’s brief appearance ended with an edge behind, signaling an imminent end to the innings. However, Maheesh Theekshana, in partnerships with Dushmantha Chameera and Dilshan Madushanka, displayed resilience absent in the rest of the innings.
Facing 91 deliveries, Theekshana played more balls than all of Sri Lanka’s frontline batters combined. Even Madushanka’s 48 balls surpassed others in terms of resilience. Theekshana, remaining unbeaten on 38, became the second-highest scorer despite the innings-ending in the 47th over when Ravindra found Madushanka’s edge for Latham to complete a sharp catch.
NZ vs SL ICC CWC 2023 Match 41 Report: Score Summary
172 for 5 (Conway 45, Mitchell 43, Mathews 2-29)
171 (Perera 51, Boult 3-37, Ravindra 2-21)
New Zealand won by five wickets