NEW DELHI: Pakistan‘s seven-wicket win over Bangladesh has kept their chances of qualifying for the ICC World Cup semi-finals alive, but the 1992 champions still rely on favourable results in other matches, especially the ones involving New Zealand.
Pakistan’s one-wicket loss in the thriller against South Africa before the win over Bangladesh continues to haunt them, but New Zealand’s heavy defeat (by 190 runs) against the Proteas has narrowed the gap between Pakistan and the Kiwis to just two points.However, NZ still have a better net run-rate (NRR) compared to Pakistan, which keeps them a spot ahead at number four.

Both New Zealand and Pakistan have two matches left and for Babar Azam’s team to make it to the semis, the equation is both simple and complex.

The obvious scenario for Pakistan is that they have to win both their matches and New Zealand must lose theirs, which makes the game between the two teams on November 4 the most critical.
Speaking on news channel ‘A Sports’, fast-bowling legend Wasim Akram explained exactly how Pakistan need to beat the BlackCaps to stay ahead or closer to their NRR.

“Pakistan obviously need to go above NZ’s net run rate, we all know that,” said Akram. “When Pakistan play against New Zealand, they need to win by 83 runs; and if they bat second, then they need to chase New Zealand’s total in 35 overs.”
Adding to that, another former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik pointed out a mistake Pakistan made during their win over Bangladesh.
Chasing a below-par 205 for victory, Pakistan openers Abdullah Shafique and Fakhar Zaman had given a start of 128 runs in 21 overs, which was an ideal platform for Pakistan to go after the bowlers and reach the target in as few overs as possible to boost their NRR.

“One thing we could have done,” said Malik. “In the last match, our openers had given a good start, so we could have won fnished earlier. Then this margin explained by Wasim bhai could have gotten easier (to manage).”
After the match between them on Nov 4, Pakistan will be left to play England on Nov 11 and the New Zealand team will take on Sri Lanka on Nov 9.

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