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News

ODI World Cup digest: Afghanistan push for semis; New Zealand, Pakistan and Australia prepare for must-win games

Afghanistan power past Netherlands to put themselves firmly in the semi-final mix while undermanned New Zealand and Australia face Pakistan and England respectively

The Men's 2023 ODI World Cup is now building towards the final on November 19. Each morning we will round up the latest action and news from the event and bring you the insights from our reporters on the ground.
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Top Story: Nabi, Shahidi, Rahmat boost Afghanistan's semi-final chances with big win

Afghanistan 181 for 3 (Shahidi 56*, Rahmat 52, van Beek 1-30) beat Netherlands 179 (Engelbrecht 58, Nabi 3-28) by seven wickets
Netherlands were undone by four run-outs, a stumping and a spin chokehold in Lucknow, as Afghanistan improved their outside chances of making the semi-finals with a fourth win in seven games, this time also boosting their net run-rate along with it.
Their 111-ball win chasing 180 was swiftly wrapped up courtesy contributions of 52 from Rahmat Shah and 56 from Hashmatullah Shahidi, but the meat of the action took place in the first half where Afghanistan bowled well in parts, but were helped along the way by regular errors from Netherlands.

Match analysis: Nabi the hustler sends Netherlands spinning

Pretend you're an Afghanistan selector. You're licking your lips at the fantabulous array of spinners you can call upon for a World Cup in the subcontinent.
There's the GOAT white-ball leggie who's become so good now that teams consider it a win if they go at four an over against him and only cede the odd wicket; so good that eight years after his international debut, thousands of hours of video dissection later, we're still only guessing which one's the googly.

Must Watch: Was there panic among the Netherlands batters?

News headlines

  • Pat Cummins has backed an increase in the 15-man limit on squad sizes at the World Cup, as his Australia side face the prospect of picking a team from just 13 available players against England in Ahmedabad on Saturday.
  • Bangladesh cancelled their training session in Delhi on Friday to safeguard their players from the air pollution in the city, according to team director Khaled Mahmud.
  • Sri Lanka Cricket has called for "an urgent and comprehensive explanation from the entire coaching staff and selectors" following the team's 302-run defeat in their World Cup match against India in Mumbai.
  • Match preview

    New Zealand vs Pakistan, Bengaluru (11.30am IST; 5am GMT; 4pm AEDT)
    New Zealand vs Pakistan is one of the games with extremely high stakes left in the league stage of the World Cup. Till some days ago, it looked like the four semi-finalists were locked in, with New Zealand in there and Pakistan just out. Things have changed since.
    The turn for the worse for New Zealand has been dramatic. After four wins on the trot at the start of the league stage, form has fallen by the wayside, and defeats (three in a row) and player injuries have mounted. As number of their players are nursing injuries at the moment - though they trained in Bengaluru on the eve of this game - a couple more results not going their way could mean New Zealand dropping out of the top four.
    Team news
    New Zealand (possible): 1 Devon Conway, 2 Will Young, 3 Rachin Ravindra, 4 Daryl Mitchell, 5 Tom Latham (capt & wk), 6 Glenn Phillips, 7 Mitchell Santner, 8 James Neesham, 9 Kyle Jamieson, 10 Tim Southee/Lockie Ferguson, 11 Trent Boult
    Pakistan (probable): 1 Abdullah Shafique, 2 Fakhar Zaman, 3 Babar Azam (capt), 4 Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 5 Saud Shakeel, 6 Iftikhar Ahmed, 7 Agha Salman, 8 Shadab Khan/Mohammad Nawaz, 9 Mohammad Wasim, 10 Shaheen Shah Afridi, 11 Haris Rauf

    Match preview

    Australia vs England, Ahmedabad (2pm IST; 8.30am GMT; 7.30pm AEDT)
    Suffice to say, this is not the occasion it was earmarked to be. England versus Australia at the back-end of the group stages, at the most grandiloquent venue that this World Cup can offer. This was intended, at the very least, to be a shoot-out for the semi-finals, and maybe even a dress rehearsal for a yet more significant showdown at this same venue further down the line.
    And long, long ago, when Australia were the team sitting rock-bottom of the World Cup standings after back-to-back losses to South Africa and India, England might even have assumed that this would be their opportunity to land the final smackdown on their oldest foes.
    How the worm has turned since then. Australia have gone on to win four from four, while it's England who have spent the past fortnight circling the drain. Somehow, they go into this contest with a 0.4% chance of reaching the knock-outs - but the fact that they aren't dead yet despite five losses in six only goes to show how loaded towards the established teams this format really is.
    Team news
    Australia (probable): 1 David Warner, 2 Travis Head, 3 Steven Smith, 4 Marnus Labuschagne, 5 Josh Inglis (wk), 6 Marcus Stoinis, 7 Cameron Green, 8 Pat Cummins (capt), 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Adam Zampa, 11 Josh Hazlewood
    England (probable): 1 Jonny Bairstow, 2 Dawid Malan, 3 Joe Root, 4 Ben Stokes, 5 Jos Buttler (capt, wk), 6 Moeen Ali / Harry Brook, 7 Liam Livingstone, 8 Chris Woakes, 9 David Willey, 10 Mark Wood, 11 Adil Rashid