How Can Pakistan Qualify For Semi-Finals Of ICC Cricket World Cup 2023?

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 to push Pakistan out of the top four.

It was followed by a one-wicket defeat against South Africa at Chennai as the Proteas chased down 271. The only positive for them is that their net run rate did not take a massive hit despite four consecutive defeats (currently -0.387).

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

India, who have won all six matches, and South Africa who have been in stellar form have created a major divide with the rest of the teams. These two sides have one foot in the semi-finals while the third and fourth positions are up for grabs, which are currently occupied by New Zealand and Australia. Sri Lanka, meanwhile, are fifth with four points, the same as Pakistan, but have a game in hand.

Here’s a look at the different scenarios:

1. Pakistan win the next three matches – 5 wins, 10 points

Their best chance of making it to the semi-finals is if they win their next three matches. This will take their points tally to 10, meaning they will have defeated New Zealand, who are currently in the top three.

However, Pakistan would also need a favour from teams facing Australia, Sri Lanka and New Zealand.

If Australia lose all three of their remaining matches, including one against New Zealand, they will end up with eight points, allowing Pakistan to take a semi-final berth. The same case remains if Sri Lanka lose three of their remaining four matches in the World Cup 2023.

If Pakistan and Australia win all their matches, it can also bring New Zealand down to three defeats – as both Pakistan and Australia are yet to face them. Meanwhile, if Pakistan and Australia win their remaining matches by big margins while New Zealand and Sri Lanka lose all remaining games, they could knock the Kiwis and Lankans out and take the third and fourth spot.

2. Pakistan win two of their three matches – 4 wins, 8 points

This complicates their chance of making it to the next stage, but Pakistan will very much be in contention if they can win two of their remaining four matches.

In this scenario, either Australia and New Zealand would have to lose all of their remaining three matches, while Sri Lanka would need to lose two of their four upcoming matches. If this happens, the net run rate will decide who goes through.

Pakistan would also have to seal their two victories by massive margins and ensure they lose narrowly as the three teams above them have a higher net run rate.

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

Pakistan will be knocked out of the tournament.

4. Pakistan lose all three matches – 2 wins, 4 points

Pakistan will be knocked out of the tournament.

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