Australia and India play for No 1 semifinal berth
LONDON (AP) — The Cricket World Cup semifinals finally fall into place on Saturday when the group stage concludes with a double-header.
Australia, the group leader, has the inside track to finish No. 1. The defending champion plays South Africa in Manchester in a day-night match.
Win, and Australia stays in Manchester to play New Zealand in the first semifinal on Tuesday.
Lose, and India then must beat Sri Lanka in Leeds to top the group.
But Australia is expected to win, and so is India, which would leave the latter facing top-ranked England in the second semifinal in Birmingham on Thursday.
Australia and South Africa meet for the 100th time in one-day internationals. Australia has won 48, and South Africa 47.
Openers David Warner and captain Aaron Finch have five 50-plus scores at this World Cup. No Australian has ever hit six in a single tournament.
Also, teammate Mitchell Starc needs four more wickets to become the fifth bowler to reach 50 in World Cup history.
Sri Lanka leads India 4-3 in previous World Cup matchups.
India captain Virat Kohli hasn’t scored a hundred for nine consecutive innings, his longest drought in four years.
Teammate Rohit Sharma has four centuries, tied for the most in a single World Cup. He has five centuries overall in the tournament, only one less than the record held by Sachin Tendulkar.
Sri Lanka paceman Lasith Malinga needs one more wicket to separate himself from Wasim Akram and take third place outright on the World Cup all-time list. One more wicket for India’s Jasprit Bumrah will be his 100th in ODIs.