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Pakistan, New Zealand, and Afghanistan in Tight Race for Last Semi-Final Spot

The recent victory of Australia over Afghanistan in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 has stirred up the cricketing world, especially concerning the semi-final prospects of the Pakistan cricket team. Despite Australia’s thrilling win, Pakistan’s progression to the semi-finals remains uncertain.

With Australia’s qualification, three teams have now secured their spots in the semi-finals, including India and South Africa. This leaves Pakistan, New Zealand, and Afghanistan vying for the last highly contested spot. Even if Afghanistan wins against South Africa on November 10, they will have the same points as Pakistan and New Zealand, provided the latter two also win their respective matches against England and Sri Lanka.

However, Afghanistan’s current Net Run Rate (NRR) is negative, and they would need a significant victory over South Africa to remain in contention for the semi-finals. Thus, Pakistan’s direct competition for the last semi-final spot is with New Zealand. Currently, New Zealand is ranked fourth with an NRR of 0.398, while Pakistan is fifth with an NRR of 0.036.

The qualification scenarios are as follows:

  • If New Zealand beats Sri Lanka by 50 runs, Pakistan will need to beat England by 180 runs.
  • If New Zealand beats Sri Lanka by 1 run, Pakistan will need to beat England by 131 runs.
  • If Sri Lanka beats New Zealand, Pakistan will just need to beat England to qualify.
  • If the match between Sri Lanka and New Zealand is washed out due to rain, Pakistan will just need to beat England to qualify.

The upcoming matches are scheduled as follows:

  • November 9: New Zealand vs Sri Lanka at M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru, India.
  • November 10: Afghanistan vs South Africa at Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad, India.
  • November 11: Pakistan vs England at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, India.
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