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ICC World Cup 2023: Pakistan’s semi-final hopes are almost over after New Zealand’s win over Sri Lanka

New Zealand have taken a big step towards ICC World Cup 2023 semi-final qualification with victory over Sri Lanka on Thursday. 

The Kiwis’ success means Pakistan’s hopes for a top-four berth are almost over. 

A superb bowling spell from Trent Boult, Rachin Ravindra and Mitchell Santner helped New Zealand bowl out Sri Lanka for a meagre 171. 

The Kane Williamson-led side then raced to the target in 23.2 overs, with important contributions from Devon Conway, Daryl Mitchell and Ravindra. 

The Black Caps have picked up the two precious points while also boosting their net run rate to +0.743.

Pakistan now face an uphill task to overtake New Zealand. They have a game in hand but are on eight points with an NRR of +0.036. 

The Green Shirts will have to beat England by a huge margin to leapfrog the Kiwis in the ICC World Cup 2023 standings. 

To attain +0.75 NRR, the Babar Azam-led side will need to beat the Three Lions by 287 or 288 runs if they bat first. 

And if bowling first, they need to chase the target with 284 deliveries to spare. 

Both scenarios are almost impossible, leaving slim hopes of qualification for Pakistani fans. 

What went wrong for Pakistan in the ICC World Cup 2023? 

After successive wins over Netherlands and Sri Lanka, the Green Shirts suffered four defeats on the trot in the World Cup. 

India and Australia were relatively stronger opponents, but losing against Afghanistan was completely baffling. 

Pakistan were still in contention for a top-four spot when they came up against South Africa in Chennai last month. 

However, they were highly unlucky to end up losing the contest by one-wicket, with a seemingly inaccurate decision from the empire late in the game proving decisive. 

The Green Shirts have been phenomenal in their previous two victories against Bangladesh and New Zealand, but despite their late efforts, they are now on course for World Cup elimination. 

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