England reaches World Cup semi-finals crushing NZ by 119-runs, Pakistan still faces ‘if and but’ formula

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LONDON: England scored a comprehensive 119-run victory in their must-win match against New Zealand at Chester-le-Street on Wednesday. Eoin Morgan’s side scored 305-8 in their 50 overs as Jonny Bairstow, player of the match, top-scored with 106 and Jason Roy hit 60.

The tournament hosts then bowled out New Zealand for 186 to guarantee a top-four finish in the 10-team group stage.

England, who have never won the competition, are into the World Cup semi-finals for the first time since 1992.

As soon as the match was over, the commentators at ESPN Cricinfo began speculating what the semi final composition could look like given today’s win, whether Pakistan have a chance, and considering the fact that Australia and India are already through.

“Pakistan will need to beat Bangladesh by 316 runs at Lord’s on Friday to oust New Zealand. That is, if they score 400, they need to keep Bangladesh to 84 or less. The exact margin will change depending on scores. It’s not over yet!” they said.

As things stand, England are in line to face India, currently second, but it is still possible for Virat Kohli’s men to leapfrog Australia at the top of the standings.

If England do play India it will be a repeat of Sunday’s match at the Birmingham ground when, following back-to-back defeats by Sri Lanka and Australia, they inflicted a first reverse upon Kohli’s side. The opening semi-final between the first and fourth-placed sides is scheduled for Old Trafford next Tuesday.