Pakistan's chances look bleak considering that they need to win against Bangladesh by improbably high margins.

Why Pakistan is virtually out of the semifinal race in World Cup 2019Facebook / ICC World Cup
Cricket WC 2019 CWC 2019 Thursday, July 04, 2019 - 13:28

We are coming to the end of group stage matches at the World Cup and three teams viz. Australia, India and England have qualified for the semifinals. 

On Wednesday, a resurgent England booked their place in the last 4 with a resounding 119-run victory over New Zealand. 

The race for the fourth slot is a tussle between New Zealand and Pakistan. While the Kiwis are currently in fourth place with 11 points, Pakistan are just behind on 9 points with a game to play.

Pakistan’s topsy-turvy campaign

Pakistan’s World Cup campaign got off to a disastrous start as they went down to West Indies by 7 wickets in their opening match. Put into bat, Pakistan could only muster 105 in 21.4 overs. West Indies chased down the target in just 13.4 overs with Gayle scoring a brisk 50 off 34 balls. 

The mercurial Pakistan side then defeated pre-tournament favourites England  in their next match by 14 runs. Pakistan scored a mammoth 348 after being put in to bat. Mohammad Hafeez scored a quick-fire 84. In reply, England fell short despite a fighting century by Joe Root. 

Their third match with Sri Lanka was abandoned without a ball being bowled. 

They went down to Australia by 41 runs in their fourth match. Despite restricting Australia to 307 after they looked set for a bigger total, Pakistan couldn’t keep up with the run rate and were eventually dismissed for 266. 

In the crunch match against India, it was once again the same result as in the past six instances when the two sides have met in the World Cup with Pakistan going down by 89 runs under the DLS method. After India had racked up an imposing 336 for 5, Pakistan were never really in the hunt. 

Then came the turnaround for the side as they won three matches on the trot to put themselves back in contention for a place in the knockouts. Pakistan defeated South Africa, New Zealand and Afghanistan in consecutive matches. 

Up till the Afghanistan win, Pakistan's sequence of results in fact mirrored the results which the side had achieved in 1992. In the 1992 edition, Pakistan went on to lift the trophy under Imran Khan’s captaincy. 

Qualification Scenarios

Pakistan will be taking on Bangladesh in their last group match on Friday at Lord’s in London. 

If Pakistan win, they will move up to 11 points which means they will be tied with New Zealand on points. But just a win won’t do for Pakistan since they are behind the Kiwis on run rate. 

Pakistan have a net run rate of -0.792 while New Zealand are on +0.175. 

Pakistan’s only outside chance of qualifying is if they bat first. 

For Pakistan to qualify, they need to beat Bangladesh by a margin of 311 runs after scoring 350; or win by 316 runs after hitting 400; or emerge victorious by 321 runs after scoring 450. 

But all these three scenarios look highly improbable and we can safely assume that Pakistan will not make it to the semis. 

If Pakistan bowl first, they will straightaway be out of the tournament irrespective of the result of the match. 

If the match ends in a no result or tie, Pakistan will end up with 10 points and finish behind New Zealand. 

Stranger things have happened in cricket and we will know for sure after the match gets decided on Friday. 

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