Winning a crucial encounter against Afghanistan in the most thrilling fashion, Pakistan have managed to keep their hopes alive for a spot in the semis. Also with this win, Pakistan for the first time in the competition are part of the top four in the points table.
Sarfaraz Ahmed and Co have replaced England at the fourth spot on the points table with 9 points from 8 matches.
After playing five matches in the competition, Pakistan were languishing at the ninth position with one win. But with three wins in their last three matches, Pakistan have made a serious claim for the semi-final berth.
Pakistan will now face Bangladesh in their last and final match of the group competition, which is a must-win for them if they want to make it to the semis. But their win won’t be enough to see them through. Both England and Bangladesh have to lose their remaining group matches to make sure Pakistan qualify for the semi-finals.
Australia Consolidate Their Lead
Meanwhile, Australia continued their upward surge in the competition with a convincing 86-run win against New Zealand.
With the win, Australia extended their lead at the top of the table with 14 points from 8 matches with 7 wins. In fact, Australia are the only team who have already qualified for the semi-finals. The only time Australia lost in the tournament was against India.
Co-incidentally, India are also the only side in competition who have a realistic chance to challenge Australia’s reign at the top of the points table.
Yet to play three matches in the group stage, India have possibility to finish with 17 points from the group stage whereas Australia, who are left with one match against South Africa, have the opportunity to finish with one point less than India at 16.
New Zealand Still One Win Away From SF
New Zealand, who started the competition on a great note, have now lost two successive matches.
After going down against Pakistan, the loss against Australia have further dented New Zealand’s chances of a top-two finish. The Kiwis are yet to guarantee themselves a place in the semis. But a win in their last group match against England would be enough to book a semi-final spot.
The Blackcaps are third on the points table with 11 points from eight matches.
Depending on results over the next three days involving England and Bangladesh, New Zealand could go into its last group match on Wednesday against England as desperate for a win as the tournament hosts.
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