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Sunday Jun 16 2019
Web Desk

Pakistan unlikely to make it to World Cup 2019 semi-final

Web Desk
Pakistan's captain Sarfaraz Ahmed walks back to the pavilion after his dismissal during the 2019 Cricket World Cup group stage match between India and Pakistan at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England, on June 16, 2019. Photo: AFP 

Pakistan’s chances of making it to the semi-finals of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 got a lot slimmer when the team lost its match to India on Sunday. This was Pakistan’s second straight and third loss overall in the tournament.

In the best case scenario, Pakistan wins its remaining four matches. With those wins, the team’s points tally will be 11. However, Pakistan have the worst net run rate (NRR) and any chance of making it to the final four will require other teams to falter. Pakistan will need New Zealand, South Africa and Bangladesh to lose all their remaining matches. The West Indies will also need to lose two of their remaining matches.

Basically, the team’s destiny will no longer be in their own hands.

Winning the remaining four matches will be no easy task. Up next for Pakistan are South Africa on June 23 at Lord’s, a team which has looked weak in the tournament. The Proteas lost their first three matches to England, Bangladesh and India. The next match against West Indies was rained out and the team’s first win came against Afghanistan. Pakistan can win this match, but South Africa if they beat New Zealand will be in a similar position as the Green Shirts, playing for their tournament survival. Expect this to be a cracking contest with the loser being eliminated from final four contention.

Pakistan will travel to Birmingham on June 26 to play New Zealand. This is by far Pakistan’s toughest teas in their remaining four matches. The Kiwis have looked dominant and along with India are the only unbeaten team in the tournament. Pakistan will need to play their best if they have any chance to win.

Pakistan’s last two matches will be against Afghanistan in Leeds and Bangladesh at Lord’s. While on paper the match against Afghanistan looks like a win for Pakistan, let’s not forget that this Afghan team handed a loss to the Green Shirts in a warm-up match. Afghanistan are more than capable of beating Pakistan and a lack of concentration will result in a loss for Sarfaraz XI.

The last match for Pakistan will be against Bangladesh. Whether playing to make it to the final four or just for pride, Pakistan will be looking to go all out in this match. Bangladesh are no longer the pushovers of yesteryear and like Pakistan have a strong supporter base in London. This match can go either way with no clear cut favourite.

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