New Zealand beat Sri Lanka in Cricket World Cup 2023© AFP

Pakistan and Afghanistan were both dealt a massive blow in the race for Cricket World Cup 2023 semi-finals as New Zealand cruised to a five-wicket win over Sri Lanka on Thursday. As a result, New Zealand now have 10 points from 9 matches with a Net Run Rate of +0.743. That means Pakistan, who currently are fifth with 8 points from 8 matches, will have to win their final game against England with a massive margin. According to calculations, Pakistan will have to win by 287 runs if they bat first and in case of chasing, they will have to win with 284 balls remaining. Afghanistan (with a NRR of -0.338) is virtually out of the semi-finals race with their NRR being the worst in comparison to New Zealand and Pakistan.

By virtue of the loss, Sri Lanka ended their campaign with just two wins and a NRR of -1.419.

Daryl Mitchell hit an attacking 43 as New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by five wickets.

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Chasing a modest 172 for victory, New Zealand openers Devon Conway (45) and Rachin Ravindra (42) put on 86 to help achieve the target with 160 balls to spare in Bengaluru.

The Kiwis remain in fourth position with 10 points ahead of Pakistan and Afghanistan and a with much superior net run-rate than their rivals.

(With AFP inputs)

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