• Saturday, December 09, 2023


World Cup 2023 fourth semi-finalist race between New Zealand, Pakistan & Afghanistan: Here’s the scenario

The Black Caps are leading the other two Asian sides in terms of net run rate and will make it comfortably if they beat Sri Lanka in their final league match on November 9.

(L-R) New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, Pakistan captain Babar Azam and Afghanistan captain Hashmatullah Shahidi (ANI Photos)

By: Shubham Ghosh

AUSTRALIA survived a scare against Afghanistan in a key clash in the cricket World Cup 2023 on Tuesday (8) when Glenn Maxwell played an other-worldly knock of 201 not out to drive his team home. Afghanistan, who have beaten three World Cup-winning teams in this tournament, could have taken a massive step forward to the semi-finals had they succeeded to defeat the five-time champions, but Maxwell stood in the way.

The three-wicket ensured Australia a place in the semi-final and irrespective of the results of their final game in the tournament, the former champions will play South Africa in the second semi-final in Kolkata on November 16.

All eyes are now on who the fourth semi-finalist would be. The contest is currently underway between New Zealand, Pakistan and Afghanistan and the winner will meet India, the group toppers, in Mumbai on November 15.

Here is how the fourth semi-finalist’s equation looks like at the moment:

New Zealand, Pakistan and Afghanistan are currently tied on eight points from as many matches and have one game to go.

If all of them win their remaining fixture — New Zealand against Sri Lanka in Bengaluru on Thursday (9); Afghanistan against South Africa on Friday (10) and Pakistan against England on Saturday (11), they will reach 10 points and it will come down to the net run rate (NRR).

At the moment, the Black Caps are leading the other two teams in NRR with +0.398. Pakistan are at the second spot with an NRR of +0.036 while Afghanistan are at third with -0.338.

If all the teams lose and remain on eight points, then also the NRR will make the difference.

Here are the other scenarios:

  • If New Zealand and Afghanistan lose, Pakistan will go through and meet arch-rivals India in the semi-final.
  • If New Zealand and Pakistan win and Afghanistan lose, then the NRR difference between the Kiwis and Green Shirts will decide the semi-finalists.
  • If New Zealand and Pakistan lose and Afghanistan win, they will make their maiden World Cup semi-final and meet India.
  • If New Zealand lose and Pakistan and Afghanistan win, the NRR will come into play.
  • If New Zealand and Afghanistan win and Pakistan lose, New Zealand will have a better chance of making the last four since they are much ahead of Afghanistan in NRR.
  • If New Zealand win and Pakistan and Afghanistan lose, then the Black Caps will advance to the semi-finals.

Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and England have been eliminated while the Netherlands have an academic chance of making the semi-finals. They have to win their final two matches against England and India comprehensively while New Zealand, Pakistan and Afghanistan will have to lose their final game.

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