New Zealand v Sri Lanka: Rain predicted in Bengaluru for crucial Cricket World Cup match

New Zealand are one of three teams vying for the fourth semi-final spot alongside Pakistan and Afghanistan

Ground staff inspect the pitch after rain interrupted New Zealand's training session at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Wednesday. AFP
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The threat of rain looms over New Zealand's game against Sri Lanka in Bengaluru which could have significant implications for Pakistan at the Cricket World Cup.

New Zealand are one of three teams vying for the fourth and final semi-final spot alongside Pakistan and Afghanistan.

All three are tied on eight points, boasting identical records of four wins and as many defeats.

The Black Caps have the better net run rate (0.398) among the three contenders, so are in the best position. If they defeat Sri Lanka, it will be extremely difficult for Pakistan to better their NRR (0.036) even if they defeat England on Saturday.

However, the grim weather forecast for Bengaluru on Thursday threatens New Zealand's chances.

Rain is forecast for much of Thursday and if points are shared, it will allow Pakistan and even Afghanistan to overtake the New Zealand.

What is the weather forecast for Bengaluru?

The weather forecast predicts that the temperature during the match at M Chinnaswamy Stadium will be around 27ºC. However, there is a high chance of rain, especially between 2pm and 6pm local time.

According to Accuweather, thunderstorms are expected at 1.30pm Indian Standard Time (IST) which is when the game starts and the chance of rain is 66 per cent. This chance of rain will stay high until 7.30pm.

Will Bengaluru weather strike again?

New Zealand do not have good memories of playing in Bengaluru at this World Cup. Against Pakistan last Saturday, the Black Caps scored 401 runs in the first innings but lost by DLS method due to rain.

What are the permutations?

New Zealand must beat Sri Lanka to clinch the remaining semi-final berth alongside India, South Africa and Australia. If the game is cancelled due to rain, the Black Caps will need Pakistan to lose to England on Saturday to have a chance to reach the semi-finals.

Though Sri Lanka are second-bottom of the 10-team group and have no chance of reaching the last four, victory will keep their hopes alive of qualifying for the Champions Trophy in two years' time.

New Zealand v Pakistan in pictures

Updated: November 09, 2023, 6:52 AM