Sri Lanka picked up five crucial Super League points when their ODI against New Zealand was abandoned but their hopes of direct qualification to the Cricket World Cup 2023 remain hanging by a thread.
New Zealand’s fickle weather has once again proven costly for Sri Lanka as the second ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League ODI between the two sides was abandoned without a ball bowled.
The frustrating outcome in the second ODI of the series has left Sri Lanka’s direct qualification hopes for this year’s ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup hanging by a thread with one match to play.
Earlier this month the rain in Christchurch robbed Sri Lanka of valuable time on the fifth and final day of a thrilling Test match against the Kiwis, and the skies above New Zealand’s third largest city again played spoilsport as persistent rain meant there was no play at all at Hagley Oval on Tuesday.
It meant Sri Lanka missed the chance to strengthen their claims of qualifying directly for this year’s Cricket World Cup and now face the prospect of having to qualify via the Qualifier tournament set to be played in Zimbabwe during June and July.
Sri Lanka only have one match remaining in the Super League, with their clash against New Zealand in the third and final ODI in Hamilton on Friday their last chance to overtake the West Indies and into a critical top-eight place to qualify automatically for this year’s tournament.
But even if Sri Lanka do win that final ODI against New Zealand to earn an extra 10 Super League points and rise into eighth spot on the standings, they could still be forced into the Qualifier in Zimbabwe as 10th placed South Africa have enough matches in hand to overtake them.
South Africa have two matches left of their postponed ODI series against the Netherlands and wins in both of those contests would see the Proteas jump in front of both Sri Lanka and the West Indies and into the pivotal eighth place.
Eleventh-placed Ireland could also still qualify automatically, given they have three matches remaining against Bangladesh in May.
New Zealand currently sit at the top of the Super League standings with 165 points and also have one match left to play in the series. (ICC)