Paceman Lockie Ferguson said New Zealand would head into a likely World Cup semi-final against India charged with confidence after snapping a four-match losing streak against Sri Lanka in their last round-robin clash.
Thursday’s crushing five-wicket victory left Pakistan and Afghanistan requiring miraculous wins in their final opening-round matches to displace the Black Caps from the semi-finals.
“We’ve had some tight games and some tight losses over the last few weeks but certainly within the camp there’s a lot of confidence in the type of cricket we play,” Ferguson said after the match.
“We know that if we play the way we want to play, we’ll come out on the right side of the draw. We’ll see what happens in the last few games … hopefully we’ll have a couple more pushes.”
Ferguson, who missed two of New Zealand’s four defeats with an Achilles injury, returned with figures of 2-35 from a fiery spell at M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
After losing to Pakistan on the Duckworth-Lewis method despite scoring more than 400 runs in their previous match, New Zealand really hit their straps in the bowling department to restrict Sri Lanka to 171.
Strike duo Trent Boult and Tim Southee accounted for four top order wickets, Ferguson and spinner Mitch Santner took over in the middle overs before all-rounder Rachin Ravindra mopped up the tail.
“Throughout the World Cup, the bowling attacks that have done well have passed the baton to the next bowler,” Ferguson added.
“The more you build the pressure, eventually something will happen and … today, we got some treats for some really good bowling.
“We probably haven’t had as much as we’d have liked over the whole World Cup but it was nice to see Boulty and Tim get some early wickets.”
New Zealand have reached the final of the last two World Cups and beat India to reach the title-decider in 2019, Ferguson’s breakout tournament.
Ferguson was confident he would be fit to play a role against the hosts if, as is likely, New Zealand’s place in the semi-finals for the fourth straight World Cup is confirmed.
The 32-year-old said the injury had been just “niggly” enough to prevent him from bowling his full quota in the matches he missed, but hard work in the gym had paid off.
“Stoked to get out there and get through 10 overs today and get a couple of treats as well,” he said.
(Published 10 November 2023, 04:45 IST)