- South Africa narrowly defeated Pakistan in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, chasing down 271 runs for a one-wicket victory.
- Pakistan’s World Cup hopes hang in the balance with just two wins in their first six matches.
- Pakistan’s qualification for the semi-finals hinges on a combination of wins and losses in remaining matches, making their prospects uncertain.
In a thrilling encounter in Chennai, South Africa emerged victorious in a tense ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 match against Pakistan, securing a one-wicket win. Pakistan set a target of 271 runs, but South Africa chased it down with just one wicket remaining.
Pakistan’s innings began with Babar Azam (50) and Saud Shakeel (52) leading the way, helping their team reach a total of 270 runs. However, Tabraiz Shamsi’s impressive four-wicket haul slowed down Pakistan’s scoring rate, and they were bowled out in the 47th over. South Africa’s bowling performance was commendable despite the challenging conditions and the absence of Kagiso Rabada due to injury.
In response, South Africa’s top-order batsmen made a strong start in pursuit of their 271-run target. Aiden Markram’s fine innings was the highlight, but he fell just nine runs short of his century, setting the stage for a nail-biting finish. As wickets fell, Pakistan had a chance to pull off a win, thanks in part to Haris Rauf’s outstanding performance.
In the end, South Africa held their nerve to secure a one-wicket victory, overcoming their reputation for faltering under pressure.
Now, let’s discuss Pakistan’s qualification scenario for the semi-finals in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023:
Pakistan’s campaign has been challenging, with only two wins in their first six games, earning them four points on the table. To qualify for the semi-finals, they not only need to win their remaining three matches but also hope for results in other games to go their way.
The clearest path for Pakistan to qualify involves Australia losing three of their four remaining matches. However, this seems unlikely as two of Australia’s games are against weaker opponents like Afghanistan and Bangladesh. Pakistan would prefer to see more upsets in the tournament to bolster their chances.
They also hope that New Zealand wins three of their remaining matches, with one victory coming against Pakistan. If Australia avoids an upset but loses to New Zealand, then Net Run Rate (NRR) could come into effect.
To simplify, for Pakistan to qualify, they would hope for a series of specific results, including wins and losses by various teams in the remaining matches. If these results go as per Pakistan’s wish, India would finish with 18 points, New Zealand with 14, South Africa with 12, and Pakistan with 10 points, ahead of Australia and Sri Lanka who would have 8 points each. If Australia wins against Bangladesh, which is likely, both Pakistan and Australia would have 10 points.
The scenarios and wishes for Pakistan’s qualification will become clearer as the tournament progresses, and they will depend on the outcomes of upcoming games.