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Men’s ODI World Cup 2023: We are at the business end of the ICC Men’s ODI Cricket World Cup 2023 with India and South Africa already qualified for the semifinals and Australia all but in. However, with Pakistan’s DLS victory against New Zealand and Australia’s drubbing of England on Saturday, the race to the fourth semifinal spot has become even more interesting.
Three teams – New Zealand, Pakistan and tournament underdogs Afghanistan are in a close contest to finish forth in the points table. Pakistan’s back-to-back wins against Bangladesh and New Zealand have brought them back in the race for the semifinal of the World Cup.
India and South Africa both have qualified for the semifinals, hence the result of Sunday’s match between the table toppers has not affected the scenario for the other teams who are still eyeing for the two spots.
With 10 points from 7 games, Australia is almost certain to finish third in the points table, thus, qualifying for the semi final. New Zealand, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and the Netherlands are in the running for the fourth and only remaining spot.
New Zealand has only one match left, and with 8 points currently, a win against Sri Lanka on Thursday would take them to 10 points. However, this would leave Sri Lanka with 6 points, assuming they win their match against Bangladesh, effectively eliminating them from the World Cup.
Afghanistan has surprised all with the brand of cricket they have played in the tournament so far and they are better placed than New Zealand. Afghanistan currently has 8 points, but they have two more matches left and they will be through if win both.
However, their upcoming matches are against Australia and South Africa, and it won’t be easy for them to defeat both the strong teams. If they win one game, the Net Run Rate may come into play, involving Pakistan and New Zealand in the race.
The Netherlands are practically out of the race but mathematically they still have a very slim chance of making it to the semifinals.
Both New Zealand and Pakistan have 8 points each from 8 games. New Zealand’s last game is against Sri Lanka, while Pakistan will face England to conclude their league stage. If both teams win their respective matches, the Net Run Rate will be the determining factor.
The upcoming week promises to be an exciting one for fans, as there are numerous permutations and combinations to consider. The race for the semifinals is still wide open, and teams with a glimmer of hope will also be eager to seize their chances.
(With inputs from IANS)