Trust the Pakistan cricket team to make any tournament interesting, more so if it’s the ICC World Cup.
World Cup 2023: News | Schedule | Results | Points table
The Men in Green were in high spirits after their narrow win against South Africa, who were fourth in six games at the time. Their seven-wicket win over Bangladesh was essential to stay alive in the tournament, but even then they needed a miracle to make it to the semi-finals.
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That was more than ever after New Zealand posted a humongous 401/6 on the board at Bengaluru’s M Chinnaswamy Stadium in the first match of a double-header on Saturday, thanks to Rachin Ravindra’s 94-ball 108 and 79 skipper Kane Williamson. 95 on coming back from injury. And Pakistan lost their first wicket with only six on the board.
In-form opener Fakhar Zaman and captain Babar Azam, however, refused to give up just yet and would go on to produce one of the most defining partnerships of recent times. Fakhar would continue from where he left off against Bangladesh, slamming a 63-ball ton, the fastest in Pakistan’s World Cup history, and remain unbeaten on 126.
Babar would provide valuable support from the other end with an unbeaten 66, stitching an unbroken 194-run stand for the second wicket as Pakistan raced to 200/1 after 25.3 overs before the players were called off after a second spell of rain. . it would ensure that no further play could be made.
Since Pakistan crossed the 20-over mark, perhaps it was going to be declared a winner on the basis of Net Run Rate and since Pakistan were found to be 21 runs ahead of the par score, they are alive to fight another day in the 13th. edition of the exhibition event.
A dramatic reversal for Pakistan in their semi-final chances, which some on social media have labeled ‘Qudrat Ka Nizam‘ (The law of nature) has had a huge impact on World Cup semi-final situations.
The second match of the double-header on Saturday, however, went more or less as expected as Australia beat England by 33 runs at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium.
It was at this venue that England began their title defense on a disastrous note with a nine-wicket hammering against New Zealand on 5 October. Almost a month later, their title defense officially comes to an end with the defeat of the ‘Old Enemy’.
Australia had a shaky lead after being invited to bat by the English, losing both openers by just 38 runs on the board. Marnus Labuschagne however, came to Australia’s rescue with a patient 71, creating important partnerships with Steve Smith (44) and Cameron Green (47) even 75 and 61 respectively as Australia ended up posting a competitive 286 on the board. Chris Woakes led the way with four for 54.
In reply, England lost the wicket of Jonny Bairstow off the first delivery of the chase, but managed to stay alive in the chase thanks to fighting half-centuries from Dawid Malan (50) and Ben Stokes (64) all out, the latter showing his first notable innings in the final ODI assignment of his career.
All-rounders Moeen Ali (42) and Chris Woakes (32) also chipped in with valuable overs but were unable to build the kind of partnership that would take them the distance as the Aussies kept chipping away at regular intervals. . .
Leg-spinner Adam Zampa was adjudged Player of the Match for his all-round display – after scoring 19 balls that helped Australia pass 280 towards the end of their innings, before collecting 3 for 21 from 10.
Here’s a detailed look at what’s going on in the rest of the tournament:
— South Africa are officially the second team to qualify for the semi-finals after Pakistan’s victory.
— England have officially been eliminated from the race to the semi-finals after their win against Australia. They enter Bangladesh among the eliminated teams.
— Pakistan stay alive in the race to the semi-finals thanks to their win. To go through though, they will not only have to beat England in their final, they will also depend on the result of the New Zealand vs Sri Lanka match. Pakistan will also hope that Afghanistan will not catch up with them on the points table.
— Despite their fourth win on the trot, New Zealand (+0.398) still lead Pakistan (+0.036) in terms of Net Current Rate. A win over Sri Lanka should see them through to their final group outing if Pakistan fail to top them on NRR with a massive win over England.
— Afghanistan will not only have to beat Australia and South Africa in their remaining matches but will have to win them by huge margins to overtake Pakistan and New Zealand on NRR, if they win their matches as well.
— Sri Lanka and the Netherlands remain mathematically alive in the tournament thanks to Pakistan’s win.
New Zealand 401/6 in 50 overs (Rachin Ravindra 104, Kane Williamson 95; Mohammad Wasim 3/60) Pakistan lost 200/1 in 25.3 overs (Fakhar Zaman 126*, Babar Azam 66*; Tim Southee 1/27) under 21 runs (DLS Method).
Australia 286 in 49.3 overs (Marnus Labuschagne 71; Cameron Green 47; Chris Woakes 4/54) England won by 253 in 48.1 overs (Ben Stokes 64, Dawid Malan 50; Adam Zampa 3/21) by 33 runs.
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