Black Caps to play India in semifinal

Steve Smith ICC cricket world cup 2019

First Innings: Angelo Mathews rescued his side from a top-order collapse and slammed a powerful century as Sri Lanka posted 264/7 in their last league fixture of the World Cup at Leeds.

The Black Caps were unbeaten in their first six matches at the World Cup but after finishing the group stage with losses to Pakistan, Australia and England, it was only their net run rate that earned them a place in the semi-finals. Having shared points with New Zealand because of rain, India will stand second to Australia if both teams win their last remaining game.

Since Australia lost and India beat Sri Lanka, they will face England in the semi-finals while India will take on New Zealand.

Whether they bat first or second, semi-final success for England is likely to depend on whether openers Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow can enjoy another impressive partnership. The much-awaited semifinals would be a ideal chance for both the teams to take another shot at each other after qualifying for the knockouts. From England's point of view, this result shouldn't make much of a difference because they knew anyway that they were going to have to beat both Australia and India should the Old Trafford semi-final go the way of the side that finished on the top of the table. It's their World Cup to lose if you ask me. He said that India and Australia can even go all the way to the finals.

They also exited the tournament at the same stage in 1987 and 1996 - losing to England and Sri Lanka, respectively - in between their World Cup victories in 1983 and 2011.

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India will take on New Zealand once again.

Liam Plunkett is one of the less fussy and less flashy players who will be playing in the semis but don't underestimate his importance. Their batting is overly reliant on the classical brilliance of Kane Williamson and the power of Ross Taylor, although the latter hasn't batted with the freedom of years past, probably because he recognises how important his wicket is to his side's chances. Will they silently prefer New Zealand over England in the semi-final based on current form and do these things matter when the stakes are at their highest?

There's no bowler a team would want more in the final overs - or maybe indeed at the start of an innings - than the accurate Bumrah, who took 17 wickets at an average of 19.52 and moved beyond 100 in ODIs in just 57 matches.

The reason this prognosis can be made with some confidence is the fact that Australia are struggling in their match against South Africa.

"He's in good shape and, barring getting through the next couple of days, I expect Lockie to play".

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