Vastavam web: England and New Zealand head into their final World Cup group match on Wednesday, each knowing that a win would see them into the semi-finals.
Even a defeat would not spell the end of either team’s chances of emerging as one of the top four from the 10-team round-robin phase. Were England to lose in Chester-le-Street, Pakistan could leapfrog them into the top four with victory over Bangladesh.
Given that they play each other in their final pool match, only one of Bangladesh — who also still have to face India — or Pakistan can draw level with New Zealand in the event the Black Caps lose on Wednesday.And, with both Asian teams well behind on net run-rate, it would take a big New Zealand loss allied to a commanding Pakistan victory or two Bangladesh wins by big margins, to deny the 2015 losing finalists a place in the last four. But right now, England and New Zealand’s World Cup destiny is in their own hands.
England travel to the northeast buoyed by a 31-run win over an India side that were previously unbeaten. Sunday’s success against India, the team that recently replaced England at the top of the one-day international rankings, came after back-to-back defeats by Sri Lanka and reigning champions Australia had led many pundits to question their tournament nerve and nous.
But the pleasing aspect for England, other than the result, was that the defeat of India was built on many of the factors that have been key to their ODI revival since a first-round exit at the 2015 World Cup.