The Men’s 2023 ODI World Cup is now building towards the final on November 19. Each morning we will round up the latest action and news from the event and bring you the insights from our reporters on the ground.
Top Story: Fabulous Fakhar pulls off stunning chase to keep Pakistan alive
Pakistan 200 for 1 (Zaman 126*, Babar 66*, Southee 1-27) beat New Zealand 401 for 6 Ravindra 105, Williamson 95, Wasim 3-60) by 21 runs on DLS
Against all odds, Pakistan somehow remain alive in this World Cup. In a game where they turned in one of their most ordinary bowling displays in World Cup history, a century from Rachin Ravindra and 95 from the returning Kane Williamson saw New Zealand amass 401 – their highest World Cup total – to leave Pakistan on the ropes. But an astonishing counterattack from Fakhar Zaman saw him smash an unbeaten 126 in 81 balls to keep Pakistan up with the DLS asking rate with the threat of rain looming for much of the second innings. And when the rain did arrive, Pakistan were comfortably ahead of the rate they needed to be, pulling off a win that levels them on points with New Zealand and puts a semi-final berth within realistic grasp.
Match analysis: The sweet sound of Fakhar’s sixes makes unreal real
Find yourself the clip first. Then close your eyes and listen for the sound. It comes just after Waqar Younis is completing some point about the batting being very, very hard in the second half and just before Shane Watson, not on air but in the commentary box, can’t help but gasp “Woaaah!” And before Ravi Shastri commands the scene, like Tony Greig once used to, voice rising with the arc of the shot: “Oh he’s climbed into it, WHAT A SOUND!”
Listen to that sound, a tock, unthreatening and benign as sounds go, like a table tennis pong. Except amplified. As sweet and pure and clean now, through the TV, on your phone, laptop or whatever device, as it was heard that day at Eden Gardens live.
Must Watch: Steve Harmison is Rachin Ravindra
Match Report: Defending champions England knocked out as Australia march towards semi-finals
Australia 286 (Labuschagne 71, Green 47, Woakes 4-54) beat England 253 (Stokes 64, Malan 50, Zampa 3-21) by 33 runs
It’s over. And that’s not simply the worst World Cup defence in the history of international sport.
Everything that, for eight heady years, had been taken for granted about England’s white-ball batting has vanished without trace, as if some Hollywood baddy had pinched a sports almanac(k) from the future and set the dials on the team’s Delorean for the 2015 World Cup. We’ve re-entered an epoch of endless, desperate failure – the miracle of 2019 lost forever to some branch-line of the space-time continuum.
England’s sixth defeat – by 33 runs in Ahmedabad – in seven games was in turn Australia’s fifth win in five, with which they have marched clear of a hard-chasing pack to tighten their grip on a semi-final berth. It was marginally less supine than some of England’s losses – thanks to another spirited bowling display led by Adil Rashid and Chris Woakes, who also rallied gamely at the death with the bat, and another compelling but all-too-brief sighting of Ben Stokes in #HeroMode.
Match analysis: Straighter, faster, flatter, Zampa
It was Jos Buttler who finally tried to hit him off his length, skipping down and looking to launch him over long-off, as if trying to rekindle the spirit of that heady night in Dubai. Instead, it was Adam Zampa who came out on top, roaring as loud as he could in celebration as Cameron Green took a simple catch.
He was so consistent with his stock ball that any deviation from it seemed to bring a wicket. The ball that got Ben Stokes might have been his worst of the night, sliding down the leg side and swept tamely to short fine leg; he tossed one up full to Moeen Ali, who slog-swept him out to deep midwicket.
He finished with extraordinary figures of 3 for 21, the cheapest spell of his ODI career by a distance. Australia’s decision to pick a solitary frontline spinner in their World Cup squad was a calculated gamble: with 19 wickets across seven matches, the selectors are quids in.
Sri Lanka cancelled their training session in Delhi on Saturday afternoon following advice from team doctors, owing to the severe air pollution in the city, while Bangladesh trained late after cancelling Friday’s session, with the ICC monitoring the air quality ahead of Monday’s clash.
Mitchell Marsh will join back up with the Australia squad at the World Cup in Mumbai on Sunday evening, after missing their game against England in Ahmedabad on Saturday.
India vs South Africa, Kolkata (2pm IST; 8.30am GMT; 7.30pm AEDT)
Do you back your strength, or look to exploit your opponent’s weakness? Rohit Sharma and Temba Bavuma will have that question in their minds as India take on South Africa in a top-of-the-table clash at Eden Gardens on Sunday.
South Africa love to bat first. Their top order invariably sets the platform for the middle to go big. Batting first in this World Cup, their totals have been 428, 311, 399, 382 and 357. On each occasion, they won by more than 100 runs. While chasing, though, they lost to Netherlands and narrowly escaped, with a one-wicket win, against Pakistan.
For India, it’s the opposite. They prefer having a target in front of them so that they can pace their innings accordingly. Batting first, they can appear unsure about how hard to go. So whoever wins the toss on Sunday will have to make the tricky call.
South Africa (probable): 1 Quinton de Kock (wk), 2 Temba Bavuma (capt), 3 Rassie van der Dussen, 4 Aiden Markram, 5 David Miller, 6 Heinrich Klaasen, 7 Marco Jansen, 8 Kagiso Rabada, 9 Keshav Maharaj, 10 Lungi Ngidi, 11 Tabraiz Shamsi/Gerald Coetzee
Scenarios: What do New Zealand and Pakistan need to do to qualify for the semi-finals?
England have been eliminated, South Africa have qualified for the semi-finals, while the fight for the last two semi-finals slots is largely between Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Here is how the qualifications scenarios look for those teams.