Even if Pakistan beat Bangladesh at Lord’s on Friday (July 5) , they face a near-impossible task to qualify for the World Cup semi-finals. The top four at the end of the 10-team round-robin phase advance to the knockouts. Victory would draw Pakistan level on 11 points with fourth-placed New Zealand.
If two sides are level on points at the end of the group stage, the team with more wins goes through. But a Pakistan success would mean both they and New Zealand had won five of their nine pool matches.
The next tie-breaker is net run-rate and New Zealand have a huge advantage at +0.175 compared with Pakistan s -0.792, which is in part a consequence of Pakistan s heavy defeat by the West Indies in their opening match, when they were skittled out for just 105.
Pakistan now need to surpass the record winning margin by runs in a one-day international of 290 if they are to overtake New Zealand. But if Bangladesh win the toss and bat first, the 1992 champions slim hopes of a semi-final spot will evaporate even before a ball is bowled. That is because net run-rate can only be boosted by so much if a team is chasing a target, and in Pakistan s case it would not be enough for them to top New Zealand.
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