WC 2023: England and Pakistan in Qualification Crunch: ICC ODI Cricket World Cup 2023 Reaches High-Stakes Showdown

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Varad Bhatkhande

Kolkata, 10th November 2023: In a critical turn of events, New Zealand secured a crucial victory by defeating Sri Lanka by 5 wickets in the ongoing ICC ODI Cricket World Cup 2023. The outcome subsequently led to the elimination of Afghanistan from the tournament. New Zealand’s victory in that match, however, dealt a significant blow to Pakistan’s prospects of reaching the semi-finals. Looking ahead, Pakistan is set to face England at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, a crucial match where both teams have a lot at stake.

With 10 points in 9 matches and a favourable net run rate of +0.743, New Zealand has strengthened its position in the race for the knockout stage. On the other hand, Pakistan, with 8 points in 8 matches and a net run rate of +0.036 under the leadership of Babar Azam, now faces an uphill battle to secure a semi-final spot.

The scenario becomes nearly impossible for Pakistan, but there is a glimmer of hope. Pakistan’s last league match is against defending champions England. To secure a semi-final berth, Pakistan needs a resounding victory by 275 runs. Achieving this target would not only give them the required points but also improve their net run rate, surpassing New Zealand’s.

In the event of Pakistan having to chase runs, the task becomes even more challenging. They would need to achieve the target in just 2.3 overs (15 balls) to outdo New Zealand’s net run rate. The equation indicates the daunting challenge ahead for Babar Azam’s team.

The England side, on the other hand, is also vying for qualification, targeting a spot in the 2025 ICC Champions Trophy. While a win is crucial for England, even in defeat, they maintain a chance of qualifying based on the outcomes of the Bangladesh and Netherlands matches. England’s superior net run rate provides them with a slight advantage in this closely contested qualification battle.

As the tournament enters its decisive phase, all eyes will be on the clash between Pakistan and England, with both teams having their own set of challenges and aspirations in the quest for a spot in the semi-finals of WC 2023 and the 2025 ICC Champions Trophy.