New Zealand, with 5 points, were in slight control of the race after going unbeaten in the first three matches, despite a washout of rain being one of the results. England were in trouble after picking up just 3 points from the first three games, which included an upset defeat to Ireland. Australia also remained in the mix, though the title defense began with an 89-run drubbing of the Kiwis in the first game.
In the end, the semi-places are decided after the final round of group matches. New Zealand had a big win against Ireland in the last game to secure the top spot with 7 points. And England booked second place in the semi-finals for the group with victory over Sri Lanka in the group’s final game. Here’s how the two teams’ journeys Down Under went:
New Zealand’s road to semis
Match 1: October 22 — New Zealand vs Australia at Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney
New Zealand started their campaign on a high, posting an impressive 89-run win over hosts and defending champions Australia. The defeat was detrimental to the Aussies because in the end they could not reach the semi-finals. The Kiwis cruised to 200/3 on Man-of-the-Match Devon Conway’s 92 not out from 58 balls after being sent in to bat first. New Zealand then bowled out Australia for 111 in 17.1 overs to shock the home crowd in Sydney.
Result: New Zealand (200/3) beat Australia (111) by 89 runs | NEW ZEALAND – 2 Points
Match 2: October 26 — New Zealand v Afghanistan at Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
New Zealand’s second group match against Afghanistan in Melbourne was washed out without a ball being bowled due to rain. Even throwing didn’t happen that fateful day.
Result: Match abandoned | NEW ZEALAND – 3 points
Match 3: October 29 — New Zealand vs Sri Lanka at Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney
After a disappointing washout in Melbourne, New Zealand returned to winning ways in Sydney as they defeated Sri Lanka by 65 runs in their third match. The Blackcaps elected to bat and were in trouble at 15/3 in four overs. Glenn Phillips (104 off 64) then played one of the best knocks so far in the tournament to push their total to 167/7, which appeared to be enough for their second win in Australia. Led by pacer Trent Boult (4 for 13), New Zealand then bowled out Sri Lanka for 102 in 19.1 overs.
Result: New Zealand (167/7) crush Sri Lanka (102) by 65 runs | NEW ZEALAND – 5 points
Match 4: Nov 1 — England v New Zealand at The Gabba, Brisbane
After going unbeaten in the first three games, New Zealand were in a good position to progress, but they could not clinch the place against England in Brisbane. England chose to bat first and set a steep target of 180 runs for the Kiwis. New Zealand fell short by 20 runs in the end, despite another stunning knock from Phillips, who scored 62 off 36 balls. Skipper Kane Williamson took a lot of flak for his run-a-ball 40 as they posted 159/6 in 20 overs.
Result: New Zealand (159/6) lose by 20 runs to England (179/6) | NEW ZEALAND – 5 points
Match 5: 04 Nov — New Zealand vs Ireland at Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
New Zealand needed a win in their final group game against Ireland and they did so comfortably. Asked to bat first, New Zealand posted 185/6 on a new-look Williamson, who scored 61 off 35 balls. Ireland got off to a good start with 68 for no loss in 8 overs, but spinners Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi pulled New Zealand back with quick wickets. Ireland were eventually bowled out for 150 in 19 overs, giving New Zealand a comprehensive 35-run win. And with three big wins, the Kiwis who have the best NRR in the group and made it to the next stage even before the match between Australia and Afghanistan ended.
Result: New Zealand (185/6) beat Ireland (150) by 35 runs | NEW ZEALAND – 7 points, NRR 2.113
England’s road to semis
Match 1: October 22 — Afghanistan v England at Perth Stadium, Perth
On a fast Perth pitch, England invited Afghanistan to bat first and bowled them out for 112 in 19.4 overs. Sam Curran was the headliner for the England side, returning figures of 5 for 10 in 3.4 overs – the only five-wicket haul in the tournament so far. England lost wickets at regular intervals in their chase but managed to claim victory with five wickets in hand and 11 balls to spare, giving them a winning start to their campaign.
Result: England (113/5) beat Afghanistan (112) win by 5 wickets | ENGLAND – 2 points
Match 2: October 26 — Ireland v England at Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbournee
England suffered the first major upset of the Super 12 stage when they were beaten by Ireland in a rain-affected match in Melbourne. England chose to bowl first, but this time Ireland set a competitive target of 158 runs for the English team on an 82-run stand between Andrew Balbirnie (62 off 47) and Lorcan Tucker (34 off 27). And when rain stopped the game, England (105/5 in 14.3 overs) were 5 runs behind the par score of 110. The shake-up left the pack wide open.
Result: England lose by 5 runs (DLS) to Ireland | ENGLAND – 2 points
Match 3: October 28 — England vs Australia at Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
England’s situation took a hit in their next match, when rain prevented the match from starting in Melbourne. The game was abandoned without even the toss happening. England and Australia each had to share a point.
Result: Match abandoned | ENGLAND – 3 points
Match 4: Nov 1 — England v New Zealand at The Gabba, Brisbane
With two wins in the last two matches, England overcame New Zealand in Brisbane to keep their semi-final hopes alive. In the do-or-death match, Jos Buttler (73 off 47) and Alex Hales (52 off 40) gave England a flying start with 77 for no loss in the first 10 overs. This created a platform for England to post a challenging 179/6 in 20 overs. They then restricted the Kiwis to 159/6 to register a 20-run win.
Result: England (179/6) beat New Zealand (159/6) by 20 runs | ENGLAND – 5 points
Match 5: Nov 5 — Sri Lanka v England at Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney
With New Zealand already in the semi-finals and Australia on 7 points, the equation was simple for England: beat Sri Lanka and advance to the next stage in their final group game. England cruised to a four-wicket win to join the Kiwis in the Group 1 semi-finals. Sri Lanka elected to bat first and put up a below-par total of 141/8 in 20 overs, with Pathum Nissanka’s 67 off 45 balls. England’s openers got them off to a great start but frequent wickets left them in a tight spot before Ben Stokes (42 not out from 36) held his nerve and took the team home with two balls to spare.
Result: England (144/6) beat Sri Lanka (141/8) by 4 wickets | ENGLAND – 7 points, NRR 0.473