Pakistan beat New Zealand in Cricket World Cup 2023© AFP
Pakistan massively boosted their chances of reaching the Cricket World Cup 2023 semifinals after defeating New Zealand by 21 runs (DLS) in a rain-marred encounter in Bengaluru on Saturday. New Zealand posted a formidable total of 401/6 with the help of impressive knocks from Rachin Ravindra and Kane Williamson. In reply, Fakhar Zaman scored an explosive century while Babar Azam contributed with a gritty half-century as Pakistan were ahead of DLS par score when rain halted play.
Thanks to the victory, Pakistan now have eight points and they leapfrogged Afghanistan to grab the fifth spot in the official standings. The Babar Azam-led side has the same number of points as New Zealand after eight matches but the Kiwis are ahead thanks to a better Net Run Rate (NRR).
If Pakistan win their final game against England and New Zealand lose their final game against Sri Lanka, the Babar Azam-led side will finish above Kane Williamson and Co. However, if both win their respective matches, the team with the better NRR will finish higher in the final points table.
The other team in contention for the semi-final spot is Afghanistan who have eight points from seven matches. They have matches remaining against Australia and South Africa with two wins guaranteeing their spot in the knockout stage. But, if they win just one game and both Pakistan and New Zealand win their matches, all three sides will have 10 points and once again, NRR will decide who finishes on top.
Australia are currently third with 8 points but with three games remaining. However, if they lose all three of their matches, two out of the three – Pakistan, New Zealand and Afghanistan – can finish in the Top 4.
Topics mentioned in this article