Their fate still hangs on the outcome of other matches as they remain in fifth position in the six-team Group 2, ahead of only the Netherlands. A scrappy 6-wicket win against the Dutch opened their account in the tournament on Sunday, but South Africa‘s win over India has made the route to the knock-out stage tougher for them.
Pakistan have two games left – against South Africa and Bangladesh – and they need two big wins to not only reach 6 points but to pump up their net run rate (NRR), which may come into play in the end. Their current NRR, after 3 games, stands at 0.765
Now the fight for a spot in the semi-final is more with arch-rivals India than South Africa for Pakistan, with the Proteas sitting on top of the Group 2 standings with 5 points. The Proteas need only one win from their remaining two games to progress to the next stage and they have a comparatively easy game coming up against minnows Netherlands. Pakistan now need India to lose one of their remaining two games, so that the 2007 champions finish on 6 points, the same as Pakistan (provided they win their next two matches), and NRR comes into play.
With South Africa already having one foot in the next stage of the tournament, Pakistan’s chances have dropped considerably, but they are still not out yet and the race for the second spot in the group is now mostly with India, though Bangladesh are also on 4 points, the same as the Men in Blue. From India’s perspective their next match vs the Bangla Tigers will be a very crucial one.
Pakistan cricketers. (AFP Photo)
(All statistics in this article are updated till the end of October 30 matches)
How the teams stand in Group 2 after three matches each:
* South Africa jumped to the top of the group with five points after their win against India on Sunday. They have two wins (vs India & Bangladesh) now and a ‘no result’ vs Zimbabwe, which gave them 1 point.
* India dropped down to second in the standings after their loss to South Africa. They have four points now from three games — two wins (vs Pakistan & Netherlands) and a loss (vs SA).
* Bangladesh climbed up to third after their narrow win against Zimbabwe on Sunday. They too have four points from three games and are behind India only on NRR.
* Zimbabwe are fourth now with three points after losing to Bangladesh. They have a win (vs Pakistan), a no result (vs SA) and a defeat (vs Bangladesh).
* Pakistan opened their points account with a win against Netherlands, and are in fifth spot with two points from three games.
* Netherlands have zero points after losing all their three games so far.
Pakistan cricketers. (AFP Photo)
How Pakistan can progress to the semis:
* The most important criteria still remains the same — big wins in the remaining two games, which will take their tally to 6 points. It may or may not be enough for them in the end.
* For Pak to qualify they need India to lose one of their two remaining games, which will leave them on 6 points, the same as Pakistan. Then NRR will come into play. India have matches against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. Pak will also be keeping one eye on the Bangla Tigers.
* South Africa must lose both their remaining two games, an unlikely scenario as they have one game against minnows Netherlands and the other vs Pakistan. One win off the two will take the Proteas to 7 points, which should be enough to book a semi-final spot.
* Bangladesh, on 4 points, also need to lose both their remaining two games for Pak to have a chance. They have games left now – against India and Pakistan – both of whom also need wins to remain in semi-final contention. A win vs India will take Bangladesh to 6 points, the same as Pakistan (if Pak win their remaining two games).
* Zimbabwe, who are on 3 points, need to lose one of their remaining two games. Two wins will take them to 7 points, ahead of Pakistan (provided Pak win both their games that are left), but one victory will leave them on 5 points. They have games vs the Netherlands and India.
As is evident, Pakistan’s fate hangs predominantly on lots of other results going in their favour. The 2009 champions, as things stand, might find it extremely difficult to make the semis cut. No wonder then that so many former Pakistan players have voiced their concerns and disappointment at team selection and quality of cricket played by the Men in Green so far.
Zimbabwe beat Pakistan 🙌🏽And do not call this an upset. It’d be disrespectful to @ZimCricketv who’ve played so wel… https://t.co/QYryKd0tdP
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) 1666881426000
Average mindset, Average results. Thats the reality, face it. https://t.co/plLZ11Qx0Y
— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) 1666882531000
from day one I said poor selection ub is cheez ki responsibility kon le ga I think it’s time to get rid of so call… https://t.co/BFfjSiTTlT
— Mohammad Amir (@iamamirofficial) 1666883636000