New Zealand's second ODI match against Sri Lanka was called off due to incessant rainfall in Christchurch on Tuesday, leaving the visitors' hopes for direct qualification in this year's ICC Men's Cricket World Cup in jeopardy. As a result of the tie, both teams were awarded 5 Super League points each. However, Sri Lanka's chances of qualifying for the World Cup 2023 directly have been further reduced as they are currently placed ninth in the Super League table with 82 points, and only one match remaining in the cycle, which is the third ODI against New Zealand scheduled to take place on March 31 in Hamilton.
Sri Lanka needs to win the third ODI to surpass West Indies and move up to the eighth position in the standings. Even if they manage to win the final ODI against New Zealand to earn an additional 10 Super League points and rise to eighth position in the standings, their qualification hopes depend on the performance of South Africa. The Proteas are currently in the tenth position with 80 points and have two matches left in their postponed ODI series against the Netherlands. If they win both contests, South Africa would jump ahead of both Sri Lanka and the West Indies, taking the pivotal eighth spot.
Despite the draw in Christchurch, New Zealand is poised to finish at the top of the Super League table. Even if they lose the third ODI against Sri Lanka in Hamilton, they will still maintain their position as table-toppers, with 165 points and only one match left to play. Sri Lanka will have to put in a strong performance in the upcoming match against New Zealand to keep their World Cup qualification hopes alive.