Pakistan’s future in the 2023 Cricket World Cup looks uncertain after their recent loss to Afghanistan, as the tournament heads into the second half.
The 1992 champion has a chance to qualify for the semi-finals of the 2023 World Cup, but his qualification will depend on the results of other teams.
Pakistan, under the captaincy of Babar Azam, started the 2023 World Cup with two successive wins. Pakistan won their opening match against the Netherlands in Hyderabad, before continuing their World Cup record chase against Sri Lanka at the same venue.
But Pakistan has suffered a significant decline in level since its meeting with India, host of the 2023 World Cup, on October 14. A poor batting performance saw them bowled out for 199 against India, who won the match comfortably by seven wickets inside 31 overs at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
The defeat to India was followed by Pakistan receiving crushing defeats from lower-ranked Australia and Afghanistan.
Pakistan’s net run rate fell to -0.400 after suffering three consecutive losses in the 50-over World Cup. But Azzam’s team is still in the top four with six points from five matches, with four more matches remaining in the group stage.
Pakistan will now face South Africa in their next match in Chennai, followed by Bangladesh, New Zealand and England.
India, New Zealand and South Africa have reached another level in this campaign, and all three teams already have one foot in the semi-finals. The fourth place, currently occupied by Australia, is still up for grabs.
Below are the different scenarios under which Pakistan can qualify for the semi-finals:
Pakistan won all the remaining 4 matches – 6 wins and 12 points
The South Asian team’s best chance of reaching the semi-finals is to win all four of its remaining matches. This will take their points tally to 12. But it will also mean Pakistan need to beat both New Zealand and South Africa, two of the top three teams.
Even if Pakistan wins the next four matches, they will still need to lose one or two of their remaining four matches. If the Australians win each of their next four matches, they will qualify ahead of Pakistan.
Pakistan won three of their four matches – 5 wins and 10 points
If Pakistan lose one of their next four matches, this situation will complicate their chances of reaching the knockout stage. In this scenario, Pakistan would want Australia to lose at least two of their remaining four group stage matches. If this happens, the fate of both sides will be decided by net run rate.
However, if Australia lose three of their last four matches, Pakistan will finish fourth, or even third, which seems highly unlikely.
Pakistan won two of their four matches – 4 wins and 8 points
If Pakistan can manage just two wins in their remaining four matches, the Men in Green could be eliminated from the tournament. But given the complex nature of the points table at this stage, there is a possibility that one team will qualify for the semi-finals even if they have four wins. However, such a circumstance requires multiple other outcomes to work in its favor.
Pakistan won 1 of their 4 matches – 3 wins and 6 points
Pakistan will be eliminated from the 2023 World Cup.
Pakistan lost all 4 matches – 2 wins and 4 points
Pakistan will be eliminated from the tournament.
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