Semi-Final Chances Of Pakistan and Afghanistan: The World Cup 2023 has come into its business end of the league phase stage with the last round of fixtures starting Thursday. 40 of the 45 league matches are done; all 10 teams have played 8 games each and are left to play their last league-stage match. Fans are excited because there is still one semi-final place up for grabs.
Three teams – India, South Africa, and Australia – have sealed their places in the semi-final, while four teams – England, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and the Netherlands – are out of the semi-final race, although they have the Champions Trophy 2025 spots to fight for.
This leaves three teams – New Zealand, Pakistan, and Afghanistan – vying for one semi-final berth. All three have 8 points each and are separated on Net Run Rate.
Semi-Final Chances Of Pakistan and Afghanistan
With all the hype around their bowling attack, Pakistan have failed to live up to the expectations of their fans, and at one point were looking very much out of semi-final contention amid their four-match losing streak. It wasn’t until Fakhar Zaman’s blitzkrieg against New Zealand that the Pakistan fans started to believe again.
Afghanistan have certainly performed beyond the expectations of most. The fact that they are still in the race speaks volumes about their growth. New Zealand, who started with 4 wins, suffered 4 losses in a row, but still stand a good chance of qualifying for the semis because their last game is against Sri Lanka, and they have a better NRR (+0.398) compared to Pakistan (+0.036) and Afghanistan (-0.338).
How can Pakistan reach World Cup semi-final
According to Semi-Final Chances Of Pakistan and Afghanistan, Pakistan have two scenarios in which they can qualify for the World Cup 2023 semi-final.
Scenario 1: No case of NRR
Sri Lanka beat New Zealand, or no result (that is washout)
South Africa beat Afghanistan or not lose by a big margin that keeps Afghanistan’s NRR below Pakistan’s
And Pakistan beat England
Scenario 2: Consideration of NRR
If New Zealand beat Sri Lanka, and/or Afghanistan beat South Africa, then Pakistan will need to beat England by a so big margin that their NRR ends up being higher than New Zealand and/or Afghanistan.
For Afghanistan, the scenarios are similar to that of Pakistan. But they will need a gigantic win over South Africa – say by over 270 runs if they score 300 runs, which, frankly, looks improbable – to pip over New Zealand’s NRR should the Kiwis defeat Sri Lanka.
As per the Semi-Final Chances Of Pakistan and Afghanistan, the only realistic scenario for Afghanistan to reach the semis is hope for New Zealand and Pakistan to lose their matches and Afghanistan themselves will have to defeat South Africa.