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World Cup 2023: Pakistan not out of semifinals race despite defeat to South Africa. Here’s how


World Cup 2023: Pakistan not out of semifinals race despite defeat to South Africa. Here’s how


Pakistan’s desperation shone through in Chennai. With more than 25,000 witnessing the first real thriller of World Cup 2023, Pakistan and South Africa put on a show for the ages. The nail-biting contest was crucial to both teams as Pakistan were in dire need of 2 points while South Africa needed to get past the finish line to tell the world that they could chase too, after the shocker against the Netherlands earlier in the month in Dharamsala.

In the end, it was South Africa who prevailed in a 1-wicket victory, thanks to Keshav Maharaj’s ice-cool approach in the end after what looked like another contest that the Proteas would lose from the jaws of victory.

World Cup 2023: Full Coverage

Pakistan’s pace trio of Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf and young Mohammad Wasim Jr. gave it their all, rattling South Africa’s lower-order and nearly making it up for another weak effort from their batters. 270 was not going to be enough on what was a sporting Chepauk pitch, but Pakistan bowlers kept the team alive in the chase until that delivery from left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz.

Captain Babar Azam was not one bit happy at Nawaz when his loose delivery down the leg was put away by Keshav Maharaj as Pakistan released all the pressure that they had built after Aiden Markram fell for 91. It was heartbreaking loss for Pakistan and captain Babar conceded that the dressing room was hurting.

Pakistan needed the win to stay alive in the semi-final race. However, despite the defeat, Pakistan are not entirely out of the race to the top 4.

South Africa overtook India to the top of the World Cup 2023 points table, taking their tally to 10 points from 6 matches. India, who face struggling England on Sunday, have a game in hand over the team above.

World Cup points table after Pakistan vs South Africa on October 27

New Zealand are at the 3rd spot with 8 points while Australia are clinging on to the top 4 with 6 points.

Sri Lanka have the best realistic chance among the bottom six to make it to the top 4 but the World Cup semi-finals race is not as done as it looks at the moment. Afghanistan also have an outside chance but they face stiff tests in the upcoming games.

Pakistan don’t have destiny in their own hands and have to rely (heavily) on other results to sneak through. Firstly, Pakistan have to pick themselves up and try to find a way to stop the losing run.

Here’s how Pakistan can qualify for the World Cup 2023 semi-final.

First things first, Pakistan need to win their remaining 3 matches and win them big a big margin to stay ahead of the Net Run Rate battle.


  • Vs Bangladesh in Kolkata on Tuesday, October 31
  • vs New Zealand in Bengaluru on Saturday, November 4
  • vs England in Kolkata on Saturday, November 11

Pakistan, much like the other contenders in the bottom half of the table, would want either of New Zealand or Australia to slip.

Pakistan can qualify if

Australia lose 3 of their next 4 matches. In an ideal situation for Pakistn, Australia beat New Zealand and lose their remaining three matches.

Australia will then end up with only 8 points and Pakistan will have 10 points.

Australia losing 2 of their next 4 matches also opens up a possibility, but Pakistan have to then rely on Net Run Rate to go through.


  • vs New Zealand on Saturday, October 28 in Dharamsala
  • vs England on Saturday, November 4 in Ahmedabad
  • vs Afghanistan on Tuesday, November 7 in Mumbai
  • vs Bangladesh on Saturday, November 11 in Pune

Pakistan can also qualify if

New Zealand lose all their remaining matches and Sri Lanka and Afghanistan lose at least 2 of their next 4 matches.

Pakistan have an opportunity to hurt new Zealand’s chances when the two sides meet on November 4, provided New Zealand don’t win both their upcoming matches.

New Zealand will then have only 8 points and Pakistan can finish with 10 points.

In case of a 10-point tie with New Zealand, Pakistan need several results to go their way and a big Net Run Rate boost.

New Zealand’s Remaining Fixtures

  • vs Australia on Saturday, October 28 in Dharamsala
  • vs South Africa on Wednesday, November 1 in Pune
  • vs Pakistan on Saturday, November 4 in Bengaluru
  • vs Sri Lanka on Thursday, November 9 in Bengaluru

It is not easy at all. However, the calculators are already out and fans of the teams in the bottom half will be hoping India and South Africa pull away further and New Zealand and Australia slip a bit as the World Cup heads toward the business end.

Published On:

Oct 28, 2023


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