Cricket World Cup matchday 29: India bid to take a step closer to semi-final spot

Syndicate Post image
Pakistan’s Babar Azam celebrates his century against New Zealand at Edgbaston (Simon Cooper/PA)

India will bid to edge one step closer to a semi-final spot when they take on West Indies at Old Trafford on Thursday.

Virat Kohli’s side, unbeaten in the tournament so far, lie third in the table and one point better off than fourth-placed England having played two games less.

The West Indies still have a mathematical chance of a top-four finish and will be determined to keep their hopes alive after their agonising five-run defeat to New Zealand in their last match.

One to watch

Virat Kohli has hit half-centuries in all bar one of his innings at the 2019 World Cup
Virat Kohli has hit half-centuries in all bar one of his innings at the 2019 World Cup (Nigel French/PA)

Kohli has yet to make a century at this tournament and is currently being out-scored by team-mate Rohit Sharma. But successive knocks of 82, 77 and 67 – he made 18 in India’s opening match – suggest a hundred is just around the corner.

Snap shot

New Zealand v Pakistan – ICC Cricket World Cup – Group Stage – Edgbaston
Pakistan’s Babar Azam celebrates his match-winning century against New Zealand (Simon Cooper/PA)

Fans-tastic

New Zealand v Pakistan – ICC Cricket World Cup – Group Stage – Edgbaston
Pakistan fans turned Edgbaston into a sea of green (Simon Cooper/PA)

There is some pretty stiff competition for who has got the noisiest backing at the 2019 World Cup. Bangladesh and India fans can both lay claim to that title, but Pakistan’s ‘green army’ took support to a different level as a raucous Edgbaston atmosphere made life difficult for New Zealand.

Tournament tracker

Cricket World Cup: key statistics so far
Cricket World Cup: key statistics so far (PA Graphics)

Quote of the day

England’s Joe Root on the need for cool heads in the crunch duel with India on Sunday

Stat will do

Spinning his web

New Zealand v Pakistan – ICC Cricket World Cup – Group Stage – Edgbaston
Shadab Khan (centre) and team-mates celebrate the prize wicket of New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson (Simon Cooper/PA)

Some wickets are celebrated more than others, and Kane Williamson’s is as treasured as much as anyone at this World Cup. Williamson was digging New Zealand out of another hole when Shadab Khan bamboozled him with a ball of prodigious turn that took the outside edge and gave wicketkeeper Sarfaraz Ahmed a catch behind.

Top-four fight

England v Australia – ICC Cricket World Cup – Group Stage – Lord’s
England must raise their heads again in final two games (Adam Davy/PA)

What seemed a procession towards the semi-finals a week ago is now anything but. Successive England defeats have opened the door for Bangladesh, Pakistan or Sri Lanka to sneak into the final four. England’s last two games are against India and New Zealand and the race for a semi-final spot looks like going to the wire.

Up next

June 27: West Indies v India at Old Trafford

Table

Cricket World Cup table
 (PA Graphics)

Breaking