Imamul Haq vows no World Cup let-up from Pakistan

New Zealand who are placed fourth will qualify automatically if Pakistan fail to beat Bangladesh by one of these highly unlikely margins.

"England did get the best of the conditions but they were the better team".

Australia and India have already qualified. "Hopefully we can produce that aggressive, positive identity in the semi-finals".

Earlier, wicket-keeper Jos Buttler took a sensational catch down the leg-side to send Martin Guptill packing as New Zealand lost their risky opener for just 8.

Jonny Bairstow and Michael Vaughan do not have the monopoly on spats between cricketers and a former global turned pundit, with tensions apparently running high in the India camp.

What happens if England beat New Zealand?

For England it was the nadir.

"The guys are buzzing, laughing and smiling at how ridiculous some of the shots these two guys are playing", said Morgan. There was nothing riding on this game for New Zealand.

"For us it will be about trying to get away from cricket for a few days now". Every match is played in new conditions and against a new opposition.

Jonny Bairstow's second century in a row helped England to 305-8 off its 50 overs, and the Black Caps never looked like chasing down the target after the run-outs of Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor in successive overs left them 69-4. The team that was touted as "not a dark horse but one of favourites" by South African player Chris Morris, a view supported by his captain Faf du Plessis, has suddenly dipped in the last week or so. "It's important for any team to get their own identity and stick with it", said Morgan. "There has been a lot of talk about us not peaking at the right time, but it doesn't really matter when you don't peak, because if you win the next game, you are in the final".

Since that defeat, England's fortunes have been transformed.

New Zealand missed their leading pacer Lockie Ferguson badly after he was ruled out owing to a hamstring niggle, opening the door for Tim Southee who had a forgettable start, being slapped for three back-to-back fours by Bairstow.

Such positivity was justified, too.

Having got their wobble out of the way early, losing to Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Australia they have regained their swagger.

England's are through to the semi-finals of the cricket World Cup for the first time in 27 years.

The Caribbean side scored 311 for six in their 50 overs in Leeds and although the Afghans put up a fearless fight, they ultimately went down by 23 runs.

With those two batsmen went any hopes New Zealand had of winning the tie.

After a brief stoppage when a streaker ran onto the field, the Black Caps lost Tom Latham, caught behind for 57, to leave them all but beaten at 164-7.

For New Zealand, the end was nigh.

Very poor batting performance by New Zealand!

  • Julie Sanders


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