MANCHESTER It’s going to be India versus New Zealand in the first semifinal of the ICC World Cup on Tuesday, with hosts England taking on five-time defending champions Australia in the other on Thursday.
The 45-game group stage ended with the match between Australia and South Africa.
Australia, India, England and New Zealand knew prior to Saturday’s final group matches that they would be in the top four and that all that was to be decided was the end of group standings.
India’s seven-wicket win over Sri Lanka at Headingley ensured that they ended on a winning note and leapfrogged Australia after their 10-run defeat by South Africa.
India’s win and Australia’s defeat meant that the 2011 winners topped the group and face fourth place New Zealand at Old Trafford.
It will be an intriguing match-up as these two sides have not played each other at this World Cup. Their game at Trent Bridge on June 13 was abandoned without a ball bowled.
India finished the group stage with just one defeat to England to finish on 15 points from their nine matches. While after a good start to this World Cup, New Zealand lost three games to Pakistan, Australia and England and ended on 11 points from their nine games.
Rohit Sharma is India’s dangerman with the bat with 647 runs in the group stage while Black Caps captain Kane Williamson has 481 runs.
Australia’s defeat in their final game means they slipped down to second at the end of the group stages and set up a meeting with England.
Aaron Finch’s men beat England by 64 runs at Lord’s at the end of June.
Captain Finch (507) and David Warner (634) have been Australia’s stars with the bat while Joe Root (500) and Bairstow (462) are England’s leading run scorers.
With the ball, Mitchell Starc has 26 wickets at this World Cup, while England’s Jofra Archer has 17.
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