The riddle as to which team will make it to the semi-finals of the Cricket World Cup 2019 appears to have been solved. In a dour match, England beat New Zealand by a big margin yet there will be no joy in the Pakistan dressing room. The team has 10 points and was hoping it could make it to the top four for the semi-finals. Pakistan was hoping for an Indian victory over England but India lost as the team seemed to lack the urgency for a win.

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New Zealand who beat West Indies by the skin of their teeth has also lost and with two straight wins, England along with India and Australia has been catapulted into the top four. Yahoo News has reported that though New Zealand lost yet they may still make it to semi-finals with a better run rate and ~Pakistan will have to beat Bangladesh by 386 runs to enter the semi-finals.

New Zealand

This is New Zealand's third straight defeat and questions are being asked about the New Zealand batting.

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None of the top batsmen of the black cats have fired other than the skipper Kevin Peterson. The openers led by the experienced Martin Guptill after a century stands in one game, have totally failed and now they must be wondering how they will fare in the knock out matches.

Pakistan has one match to play with Bangladesh and its not a happy thought that they lost their last four encounters with the team from former East Pakistan.

(This part seceded from Pakistan in 1971 and the independent state of Bangladesh was created). In case Pakistan is to find a place in the knockout stage it has to beat Bangladesh by 386 runs and that looks an improbability.

The match

The England - New Zealand match was a drab affair as `England batting first on the back of great opening stand by Jason Roy and Jony Bairstow reached 306 for 8. There was a wonderful century stand by the openers and though the New Zealand pace attack did well, the total was beyond the reach of the black cats.

The team from down under managed just 186. The match took a turn after the run out Kevin Peterson. This was the signal for a listless batting display and soon it was all over bar the shouting. The Guardian has reported that it would be the first semifinal for England after 27 years.

New Zealand will be lucky to make it to the knockout stage on the back of a weak performance by Pakistan. Had Pakistan played to their potential and not caved into the West Indies in their opening match and suffered a colossal defeat against India the going would have been tough for New Zealand. The black cats were lucky in the opening games, as their brittle batting was held together by the skipper Peterson and they won.

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Knock out stage

The curtain will soon go up for the knock out stage and there is a possibility of ~New Zealand facing Australia and India facing England. India has one more game against Bangladesh but even if Bangladesh score an upset victory India should be home and dry. Bangladesh has rarely been able to beat India and if India decides to play to their potential the Bangladesh team will have a tough time.

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