Pakistan were reeling at the 9th spot after their ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 match against arch-rivals India on June 16 in Manchester. It was their 3rd defeat and Pakistan had just 3 points to show for after 5 matches.
However, in an inspiring run similar to their 1992 World Cup-winning campaign, Pakistan have rallied against odds to win their next 3 matches and move into the top-four of the World Cup 2019 points table. Pakistan survived a cliffhanger against Afghanistan in Leeds on Saturday, chasing a 228-run target in the final over and pushed England to the fifth spot.
There were slim chances of Pakistan making the semi-final after their June 16 thrashing against India. Cut to June 29, Pakistan are among the frontrunners in the race to finish inside the top four.
Imad Wasim came up with an all-round effort as he picked up 2 wickets and hit unbeaten 49 to help Pakistan prevail after their top-order failed against Afghanistan spinners.
Here’s a look at the semi-final qualification scenarios after Pakistan’s thrilling win over Afghanistan at Headingley in Leeds.
Points Table as of June 30 (After New Zealand vs Australia Match 37 of World Cup 2019)
Matches to play: Bangladesh on June 5
Pakistan are at the 4th spot with 9 points from 8 matches. They have to beat Bangladesh in their final group-stage match on July 5 and hope England lose at least 1 of their next 2 matches.
If England win their next 2, Pakistan will need to beat Bangladesh by a huge margin and hope New Zealand and India don’t win any of their remaining matches. Net Run Rate will decide their progress in the second scenario.
Matches to play: India on June 30, New Zealand on July 3
England were cruising towards a semi-final berth after winning 4 of their first 5 matches. However, untimely losses to Sri Lanka and Australia have put pressure on Eoin Morgan’s men.
The equation is still simple for England, who have 8 points from 7 matches. Win their next 2 and qualify! If England lose both their games, they will be knocked out.
However, a defeat to either India or New Zealand will complicate their chances. England can still qualify with 10 points but they would need Pakistan to lose to Bangladesh and Bangladesh to India. England then will also need Sri Lanka to lose one of their next 2 matches.
Matches to Play: India on June 2 and Pakistan on June 5
Bangladesh are currently on 7 points from 7 matches. They need to beat India (July 2) and Pakistan (July 5) and hope England lose at least one of their next 2 matches to make the semi-final.
Just like Pakistan, Bangladesh can also qualify on 9 points if New Zealand and India don’t win any of their remaining matches.
Matches to Play: West Indies on July 1 and India on July 6
Sri Lanka are placed 7th with 6 points from 8 matches. The Islanders revived their campaign by beating hosts England last week but fell to a 9-wicket defeat to South Africa on June 28 that hampered their chances.
Sri Lanka can still qualify for the semi-final but a lot of results have to go their favour. Sri Lanka need nothing less than a win in their next 2 matches. They will then have to hope Pakistan lose to Bangladesh and Bangladesh lose to India and England lose all their upcoming fixtures.
Australia – Qualified
Matches to Play: South Africa on July 6
Matches to Play: England on June 30, Bangladesh on July 2 and Sri Lanka on July 6
India are currently on the 2nd spot with 11 points from 6 matches and a healthy Net Run Rate of +1.160.
India need to win one of their next 3 matches to seal the semi-final spot. India’s chances of qualifying will rely on Net Run Rate only if they lose all their 3 matches.
Matches to Play: England on July 3
New Zealand’s semi-final chances took a hit after they lost their penultimate group-stage match to Australia by 86 runs on Saturday at Lord’s. They have to beat England in their final group game to seal their berth in the semi-final.
However, If India beat England on Sunday, they will drag New Zealand along with them to the semi-final.
South Africa and Afghanistan are the only 2 teams who have lost out on semi-final contention so far.