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How Under-Fire Pakistan Can Qualify For Cricket World Cup 2023 Semi-Finals? Scenario Explained

Pakistan find themselves in a spot of bother at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 as the tournament heads into the second half. The 1992 champions have struggled for consistency despite getting a good start and as it stands, their future in the tournament remains uncertain. Pakistan won their opening match against the Netherlands in Hyderabad, before completing a World Cup-record run chase against Sri Lanka at the same venue. However, the tables started turning once they headed to Ahmedabad to face hosts India.

A terrible batting performance against India resulted in a seven-wicket defeat and that was followed by a thumping at the hands of the Australian batters. David Warner and Mitchell Marsh’s centuries in Bengaluru took Australia to 367/9 and in response, Pakistan could only manage 305 runs.

To worsen their situation, Afghanistan picked up their first win against Pakistan in ODIs in Chennai. The Afghan batting unit chased down a challenging 283-run target comfortably and won by eight wickets as Pakistan are currently out of the top four. The only positive for them is that their net run rate did not take a massive hit despite three consecutive defeats (currently -0.400).

With four matches remaining, they still have a chance to reach the semi-finals, but they will require some assistance from other teams. Pakistan will face South Africa next in Chennai, followed by Bangladesh, New Zealand and England.

India, New Zealand and South Africa have been in stellar form and have created a major divide with the rest of the teams. These three sides have one foot in the semi-finals and the only position up for grabs is the fourth spot – currently occupied by Australia.

Here’s a look at the different scenarios:

1. Pakistan win the next four matches – 6 wins, 12 points

Their best chance of making it to the semi-finals is if they win their next four matches. This will take their points tally to 12 and it will mean they will have defeated New Zealand and South Africa, two teams in the top three.

Pakistan will need a favour from other teams facing Australia. If Australia win all their remaining matches, they will qualify ahead of Pakistan. For the Men in Green, it is imperative that the five-time champions lose one or two matches, while they do not let their foot off the pedal.

If Pakistan and Australia win all their matches, it can also bring New Zealand down to three defeats (or more) – as both Pakistan and Australia are yet to face them. Although it is slightly unlikely, if Pakistan and Australia win their remaining matches by big margins, they could knock New Zealand out and take the third and fourth spot.

2. Pakistan win three of their four matches – 5 wins, 10 points

This complicates their chance of making it to the next stage, but Pakistan will very much be in contention if they can win three of their remaining four matches. In this scenario, Pakistan will remain a little distance away from the top three and their only target to hunt down will be Australia.

In this scenario, Australia will have to lose at least two matches and if this happens, the net run rate will decide who goes through. However, if Australia lose three of their last four matches, Pakistan will take the fourth position, or third position (highly unlikely).

3. Pakistan win two of their four matches – 4 wins, 8 points

Pakistan can consider themselves out of the tournament if they win only two of their next four matches. Due to the complex nature of the table at this stage, there is a possibility that one team could qualify for the semi-final with four wins. However, such a situation requires multiple other results to work in their favour.

A similar incident occurred in IPL 2019, where Sunrisers Hyderabad qualified for the playoffs despite winning less than 50% of their matches (six wins in 14 matches). In 16 editions of the IPL, this is the only instance of a team qualifying with six wins (12 points).

4. Pakistan win one of their four matches – 3 wins, 6 points

Pakistan will be knocked out of the tournament.

5. Pakistan lose all four matches – 2 wins, 4 points

Pakistan will be knocked out of the tournament.

Topics mentioned in this article

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