New Zealand into World Cup semi-finals as Pakistan crash out

KOLKATA: New Zealand wrapped up their place in the Cricket World Cup semi-finals on Saturday after Pakistan failed to overhaul them during their concluding group game against England.

Pakistan, the 1992 champions, needed to beat England by 287 runs in Kolkata to squeeze into the semi-finals at the Kiwis' expense on net run rate.

However, England batted first, closing off that avenue, and Pakistan's fate was then sealed when they were faced with the impossible task of scoring over 300 runs by the 40th ball of their reply to the champions' 337-9.

New Zealand will face undefeated hosts India in the first semi-final in Mumbai on Wednesday with Australia and South Africa clashing in Kolkata 24 hours later.

The Kiwis, runners-up at the last two World Cups, finished fourth in the 10-team table with 10 points after five wins and four losses.

Pakistan, who had defeated New Zealand in a rain-hit game last weekend, can also get to 10 points if they defeat England.

However, it is impossible for them now to better their rivals' run rate.

India defeated New Zealand by four wickets when they met in the group stage at Dharamsala.

Daryl Mitchell made 130 and Rachin Ravindra scored 75 in their team's total of 273 all out.

However, Virat Kohli's 95 saw India reach their target with two overs to spare.

South Africa crushed Australia by 134 runs in their round-robin clash at Lucknow four weeks ago.

Quinton de Kock made 109 and Aiden Markram hit 56 as the Proteas piled up 311-7.

In reply, five-time champions Australia were shot out for just 177 with more than nine overs to spare.--AFP

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