A victory against Bangladesh would draw them level on 11 points with fourth-placed New Zealand. If two sides are level on points at the end of the group stage, the team with more wins goes through. But a Pakistan success would mean both they and New Zealand had won five of their nine pool matches.
Pakistan face Bangladesh in their last group match of ICC World Cup at Lord’s on Friday which could well turn out to be their last match of the tournament. Even if Pakistan beat Bangladesh, who are already out of the tournament, it won’t guarantee them a place in the World Cup semi-finals. They need to pull off a miraculous victory and create a few impossible records to topple New Zealand from the fourth spot.
The top four at the end of the 10-team round-robin phase advance to the knockouts. At the moment Australia, India, England are confirmed their spot the semi-finals, leaving Pakistan with only one spot to fight for. A victory against Bangladesh would draw them level on 11 points with fourth-placed New Zealand.
If two sides are level on points at the end of the group stage, the team with more wins goes through. But a Pakistan success would mean both they and New Zealand had won five of their nine pool matches.
The next tie-breaker is net run-rate and New Zealand have a huge advantage at +0.175 compared with Pakistan’s -0.792, which is in part a consequence of Pakistan’s heavy defeat by the West Indies in their opening match, when they were skittled out for just 105.
Pakistan now need to surpass the record winning margin by runs in a one-day international of 290 if they are to overtake New Zealand.
But if Bangladesh won the toss and batted first, the 1992 champions’ slim hopes of a semi-final spot would evaporate even before a ball was bowled.
That is because net run-rate can only be boosted by so much if a team is chasing a target, and in Pakistan’s case it would not be enough for them to top New Zealand.
Here is what Pakistan, whose highest total at the World Cup so far is the 348-8 they made in a shock win over England, need to do:
If Pakistan score 350, they must win by 311 runs.
If Pakistan score 400, they must win by 316 runs.