The New Zealand cricketers' chances of advancing at the Champions Trophy are relatively simple but out of their control.

If they beat Bangladesh in their final pool game at Cardiff, and Australia lose to England the next day at Birmingham, the Black Caps reach the semifinals.

If they lose to Bangladesh or, if they win but Australia beat England, New Zealand will be eliminated.

Forecasts could make run-rate an arbiter if Australia lost - leaving them on two points - and New Zealand move to two points if weather prevents a result.


A cloudy day is scheduled in Cardiff but rain is expected in Birmingham. That means Australia could exit without playing a game.

The competition rules state if teams are equal on points, the side with the most wins in group matches will be placed in the higher position.

In all likelihood, enough cricket should be played.

New Zealand need look no further than the middle order's contribution to maximise their chances of survival. Few fans will deny the batting capabilities of all-rounders Corey Anderson, Colin de Grandhomme, Jimmy Neesham and Mitchell Santner.

Each can be a powerful striker, yet those qualities were absent in the final game of the tri-series against Bangladesh in Dublin, and New Zealand's previous two matches against Australia and England.

In that last meeting between the two teams, Bangladesh won by five wickets with 10 balls to spare; the first time they had triumphed in 17 ODIs against New Zealand away from home.

The Black Caps middle order betrayed the momentum created by Tom Latham and Neil Broom's 133-run second-wicket stand. They went from 208 for three in the 39th over to 226 for seven in the 44th.

Anderson's dismissal for 24 triggered the loss of four wickets for 18 runs in 27 balls as Neesham, Santner and Colin Munro followed.

In the washout against Australia, they demonstrated an almost perfect allocation of batting resources.

Luke Ronchi made his first half-century in 37 ODI innings and Kane Williamson produced his ninth ODI century - and first against Australia.

New Zealand were originally dismissed for 291 in 45 of their 46 rain-reduced overs. However, their last seven wickets fell for 37 runs in six overs. Anderson, Neesham and Santner contributed 22 runs from as many balls.

Captain Williamson was unfazed by the collapse.

"I appreciated the selfless behaviour of the middle and lower order to try to score from ball one," he said. "It didn't quite come off. We would have liked more runs but we still had a pretty good score."

Williamson was again the chief engineer in building a platform against England with 87 off 98 balls. At 158 for three, when he was dismissed in the 31st over, they were on track to chase 311. A total of 65 runs and 85 balls later, they had crumbled. Anderson, Neesham and Santner amassed 31 runs off 38 balls.

"We got ourselves into a position just ahead of England at 30 overs, thanks to the excellent batting of Martin [Guptill], Kane and Ross [Taylor] on a surface which became difficult hitting from ball one," coach Mike Hesson said.

With minimal sun reaching the Sophia Gardens pitch block since that loss, wholesale changes are not expected to the New Zealand XI.

A chance at redemption looms.