Pakistan haven't had a great run in the 2019 World Cup. While they were never the favourites to win the World Cup, such an underwhelming performance was never expected. After a morale-crushing defeat against traditional arch-rivals India, Pakistan bounced back with a convincing win over South Africa. Their remaining fixtures include matches against the formidable looking New Zealand, the prying Afghanistan, and giant-killers Bangladesh.
New Zealand are at the top of the points table. They haven't lost a single match in the tournament. Australia and India are following New Zealand with 10 and 9 points respectively. Pakistan rank 6th on the points table with 5 points.
Pakistan thrashed South Africa and knocked them out of the tournament. They won the game by 49 runs. Excellent bowling efforts from the likes of Shadab Khan and Wahab Riaz helped them win the unexpectedly one-sided match. Both of them picked up 3 wickets each. Amir also contributed by taking 2 wickets. Haris Sohail's outstanding performance (89 runs) helped Pakistan get a hold over the match in the first place.
How Pakistan can qualify for the semi-finals:
South Africa have now been knocked out of the World Cup as they lost the match against Pakistan. If Pakistan wins all the next three matches against New Zealand, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh respectively, they have a good chance to be in the semi-finals. They must secure 11 points to grab a place in the semi-finals.
Also for Pakistan to be in the semi-finals, England should not win more than one match, which sounds improbable at the outset. However, given their shocking loss to Sri Lanka and the fact that the hosts play three title favourites in Australia, India, and New Zealand in their remaining fixtures, this proposition cannot be ruled out. Sri Lanka and Bangladesh also need to lose one match each and the latter would be taken care of if Pakistan beat them.
Pakistan won the 1992 World Cup, and they surely must be wishing to lift the 2019 World Cup. Pakistan's journey till now has been very similar to the 1992 World Cup, which could be a happy coincidence for the beleaguered team. If they continue to play on the same path, they can recreate history. They have three matches left to prove themselves in the World Cup.
Also read – Cricket World cup winners