The desperation of Pakistan was evident in Chennai. With over 25,000 spectators witnessing an intense match, Pakistan and South Africa delivered a thrilling performance. The game carried great significance for both teams, as Pakistan needed 2 points to remain in the competition and South Africa aimed to demonstrate their ability to pursue after a previous upset against the Netherlands in Dharamsala.
In the end, South Africa emerged as the winners in an exhilarating 1-wicket victory, thanks to Keshav Maharaj’s composed play towards the end. It appeared to be another match that the Proteas would let slip away, but Maharaj remained calm under pressure.
World Cup 2023: Complete Coverage
Pakistan’s trio of fast bowlers, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, and the young Mohammad Wasim Jr., gave it their all, causing difficulty for South Africa’s lower-order while compensating for their batting struggles. A total of 270 runs wasn’t enough on the sporting Chepauk pitch, but Pakistan’s bowlers kept their team in the game until a delivery from left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz turned the tide.
Captain Babar Azam was displeased with Nawaz’s loose delivery down the leg side, allowing Keshav Maharaj to relieve the pressure that had built up after Aiden Markram’s dismissal at 91. It was a heartbreaking loss for Pakistan and Babar acknowledged the disappointment in the dressing room.
Pakistan needed this victory to keep their hopes alive for the semi-finals. However, despite the defeat, Pakistan still has a chance to make it to the top 4.
South Africa claimed the top position in the World Cup 2023 points table, accumulating 10 points from 6 matches and surpassing India. India, who will soon face struggling England, have a game advantage over the team above them.
New Zealand currently holds the 3rd position with 8 points, while Australia clings onto the top 4 with 6 points.
Among the bottom six teams,Sri Lanka has the best chance of making it to the top 4, but the competition for the World Cup semi-finals is far from over. Afghanistan also has an outside chance, although they face tough challenges in the upcoming matches.
The fate of Pakistan is not in their own hands; they heavily depend on other results to sneak through. Firstly, they must recover from this loss and find a way to halt their losing streak.
Here’s how Pakistan can qualify for the semi-finals of World Cup 2023.
Pakistan must first and foremost win their remaining 3 matches with a significant margin to stay ahead in the battle for Net Run Rate.
- Vs Bangladesh in Kolkata on Tuesday, October 31
- vs New Zealand in Bengaluru on Saturday, November 4
- vs England in Kolkata on Saturday, November 11
Similar to other contenders in the lower half of the table, Pakistan hopes for either New Zealand or Australia to falter.
Pakistan can qualify if
Australia loses 3 of their next 4 matches. In an ideal scenario for Pakistan, Australia defeats New Zealand but loses their remaining three matches.
Australia would then only have 8 points, while Pakistan would have 10 points.
If Australia only loses 2 of their next 4 matches, it opens up a possibility, but Pakistan must rely on Net Run Rate to advance.
AUSTRALIA’S REMAINING FIXTURES
- vs New Zealand on Saturday, October 28 in Dharamsala
- vs England on Saturday, November 4 in Ahmedabad
- vs Afghanistan on Tuesday, November 7 in Mumbai
- vs Bangladesh on Saturday, November 11 in Pune
Pakistan can also qualify if
New Zealand loses all their remaining matches, and Sri Lanka and Afghanistan both lose at least 2 of their next 4 matches.
Pakistan has an opportunity to jeopardize New Zealand’s chances when they face each other on November 4, assuming New Zealand doesn’t win both of their upcoming matches.
New Zealand would then have only 8 points, while Pakistan could finish with 10 points.
In the case of a 10-point tie with New Zealand, Pakistan would need several results to go in their favor and a significant Net Run Rate boost.
New Zealand’s Remaining Fixtures
- vs Australia on Saturday, October 28 in Dharamsala
- vs South Africa on Wednesday, November 1 in Pune
- vs Pakistan on Saturday, November 4 in Bengaluru
- vs Sri Lanka on Thursday, November 9 in Bengaluru
It won’t be easy at all, but the calculators are already out and fans of the teams in the lower half of the table hope that India and South Africa gain more ground, while New Zealand and Australia stumble a bit as the World Cup approaches its decisive stages.
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