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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Pakistan’s Cricket World Cup 2023 Semifinals Fate Hangs in the Balance

The ODI World Cup 2023 is in full swing, and the race for the semifinals has reached a nail-biting phase. Match No. 41, currently underway at Bengaluru’s M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, is shaping the destiny of New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

New Zealand, Pakistan, and Afghanistan find themselves tied at eight points on the points table, with one crucial match remaining for each team. The stakes couldn’t be higher.

For New Zealand, there’s no room for error. A loss against Sri Lanka would leave them stranded at eight points, opening the door for Pakistan and Afghanistan to surge ahead by winning their final clashes against England and South Africa, respectively.

As for Pakistan, the Babar Azam-led side has two possible paths to secure a coveted spot in the semifinals. Firstly, if New Zealand stumbles against Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan falters against South Africa, Pakistan can clinch a semifinal berth with a victory over England on November 11.

However, even if New Zealand manages to secure a win, Pakistan’s fate is not sealed. They would need to outshine New Zealand by a margin of at least 130 runs more than New Zealand’s victory over Sri Lanka. For instance, if New Zealand triumphs by 30 runs, Pakistan must aim for a convincing 160-run win against England to surpass New Zealand’s net run rate.

In an interesting twist, if New Zealand manages a victory tonight with about 150 balls to spare, Pakistan’s task becomes herculean against England. To secure their place, Pakistan would need an astonishing margin of victory, surpassing 270+ runs or 275 balls to spare, which is no small feat.

Afghanistan, although in the race, faces an uphill battle with a net run rate trailing behind Pakistan and New Zealand. Their best chance at a semifinal spot is if both Pakistan and New Zealand stumble in their last matches, while Afghanistan manages to triumph over South Africa. In this scenario, Afghanistan could secure a spot in the first semifinal against India.

The weather, too, could play a crucial role in deciding the fate of these teams. If the New Zealand vs. Sri Lanka match is washed out, New Zealand would conclude with 9 points, and Pakistan could advance by defeating England.

Currently, in the NZ vs. SL match, New Zealand’s decision to bowl has paid off as they’ve performed exceptionally well in the field. Sri Lanka’s innings have been fraught with early wickets and lackluster batting, managing only 113-8 in 23.3 overs. Kusal Perera’s half-century has been a lone bright spot in their innings. New Zealand’s bowlers, led by Trent Boult, have been dominant, wreaking havoc in the Sri Lankan lineup.

For more updates stay tuned to FELA News!

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