BENGALURU: Paceman Lockie Ferguson says New Zealand will head into a likely World Cup semi-final against India with confidence after ending a four-game losing streak against Sri Lanka in their last round-robin confrontation.
Thursday’s crushing five-wicket win required both Pakistan and Afghanistan to pull off miraculous victories in their remaining first-round matches to oust the Black Caps from the semi-finals.
“We’ve had some close games and some close defeats over the last few weeks, but within the camp there’s certainly 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, we will come out on the right side of the draw. We will see what happens in the last few games… hopefully we will have a few more efforts.”
Ferguson, who missed two of New Zealand’s four defeats due to an Achilles injury, returned with figures of 2-35 after a fiery spell at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
After losing to Pakistan on the Duckworth-Lewis method despite scoring over 400 runs in their previous match, New Zealand really hit their straps in the bowling department to restrict Sri Lanka to 171.
Batting duo Trent Boult and Tim Southee accounted for four top-order wickets, Ferguson and spinner Mitch Santner took over in the middle before all-rounder Rachin Ravindra mopped up the tail.
“Throughout the World Cup, bowling attacks that worked well passed the baton to the next bowler,” added Ferguson.
“The more you increase the pressure, eventually something will happen and… today we got some treats for some really good bowling.
“We probably didn’t get as many as we would have liked throughout the World Cup, but it was nice to see Boulty and Tim get a few early wickets.”
New Zealand reached the finals of the last two World Cups and beat India to reach the title decider in 2019, the breakout tournament in Ferguson.
Ferguson was confident he would be fit to play a part against the hosts if, as is likely, New Zealand’s place in the semi-finals for the fourth successive World Cup was confirmed.
The 32-year-old said the injury had been just “serious” enough to prevent him from playing his full quota in the matches he missed, but that hard work in the gym had paid off.
“I’m excited to go out and bowl 10 overs today and get some treats as well,” he said.