Pakistan, who were seen as strong competitors in the 2023 World Cup, are now in danger of being eliminated from the tournament. This is because they suffered a devastating one-wicket loss to South Africa in Chennai on October 27.
Despite starting well with wins against the Netherlands and Sri Lanka, Pakistan has now lost four consecutive matches and has only four points from six games. This is the first time in Pakistan’s World Cup history that they’ve lost four games in a row, putting them on the verge of an early elimination.
Pakistan’s chances of reaching the semi-finals were already in jeopardy after their surprising loss to Afghanistan in the previous match. However, their devastating defeat to South Africa has made their qualification prospects even slimmer, although they are not officially eliminated yet.
To have any hope of advancing, Babar Azam’s team must win all three remaining matches against Bangladesh, New Zealand, and England, and they need to do so with a significant margin to improve their net run rate.
To reach ten points in their nine matches, which is a total that India and South Africa have already achieved, Pakistan’s best hope is for New Zealand to lose all their remaining games against Australia, South Africa, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
New Zealand currently has eight points from five games with just one loss. If they were to lose all their remaining matches, Pakistan could move ahead of them by winning all their upcoming games.
However, Pakistan’s most feasible way to reach the semi-finals would require Australia to perform poorly in the rest of their tournament matches.
Australia, the five-time champions, currently have six points from five games. If they were to lose three out of their remaining four matches, they would end up with just eight points.
This scenario involves them losing to New Zealand and England in their next two matches, as well as suffering a defeat against either Bangladesh or Afghanistan.
If Pakistan wins their last three matches and Australia loses three of their remaining four, and if other results go Pakistan’s way, they might have a chance to qualify for the semi-finals based on net run rate.
“Very disappointing for the whole team” – Babar Azam
Pakistan’s captain, Babar Azam, expressed deep disappointment following a heartbreaking one-wicket loss that puts their 2023 World Cup future in jeopardy. He pointed out that Pakistan’s batting performance was subpar as they only managed to score 270 runs.
However, he praised their spirited comeback after having South Africa at 206/4, only to suffer some unfortunate events and lose to South Africa’s last pair, Tabraiz Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj.
Despite the possibility of elimination, Babar Azam pledged that Pakistan would give their all in their remaining matches.
“We are very close, we did not finish well. Very disappointing for the whole team. We fought back very well. In the batting we were 10-15 short. The fast bowlers and spinners fought well but unfortunately it was not to be.”
”We have an opportunity to win this and stay in the race but not to be. We will try our best in the next 3 matches and put our efforts and play for Pakistan. Let’s see where we will stand after that,” said Babar.
Securing a spot in the semi-finals is no longer solely within Pakistan’s control, and their path to avoid an unfortunate end to their 2023 World Cup journey has become quite challenging. To keep their hopes alive, they must not only win their remaining matches but also rely on other match outcomes.
Their upcoming challenge will be against a struggling Bangladesh team in Kolkata on Tuesday, October 31.