Their semifinal chances reduced to just a mathematical possibility, former champions Pakistan will need an improbable win over Bangladesh to have a shot at making the semifinals of the World Cup when the two sides clash in London on Friday.
Pakistan’s resurgence in the World Cup looked eerily close to the 1992 Cup-winning edition before India’s loss to England dented their hopes of a semifinal spot and when New Zealand went down to the hosts last night, it was almost over for them.
The road to the knockout stage for Sarfaraz Ahmed and his men is just an improbable mathematical calculation and that too provided Pakistan win the toss and bat first.
If Pakistan lose the toss and are asked to field, their miniscule semi-final hopes will be over even before the first ball is bowled at the Lord’s.
The first hurdle for Pakistan will be the toss – win the toss and bat first. Chasing is not an option for Pakistan as then the net run rate differential margin with New Zealand is impossible to achieve batting second.
Then, if Pakistan score 450 they need to dismiss Bangladesh for maximum 129, ie a win margin of at least 321 runs.
If they score 400 dismiss Bangladesh for a maximum of 84 – ie a win margin of at least 316 runs.
If they score 350 dismiss Bangladesh for a maximum of 38 – ie a win margin of at least 312 runs.
Just for perspective the biggest margin of victory in ODI cricket history is 290 runs – New Zealand scored 402 against Ireland in Aberdeen in 2008 and dismissed them for 112.
Thus, Pakistan to qualify will need to beat Bangladesh by a record margin.
Bangladesh, on the other hand, will rue their missed chances and would hope to bring some cheer to their fans back home with a solid performance against Pakistan, a team they had defeated in the 1999 edition.
Currently placed seventh, Bangladesh have been impressive in their wins against South Africa, Afghanistan and West Indies.
They have shown the stomach for a fight even in losses and Mashrafe Mortaza and his men will hope for a good outing against Pakistan on Friday.
Bangladesh have been too dependent on star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, who has become the only cricketer to score 500 runs and claim 10 wickets in World Cup history.
Can Pakistan do the impossible at Lord’s on Friday?
Sources : News18.com and DnaIndia.com