PESHAWAR: England won their crucial match of the ICC World Cup against New Zealand by 119 runs in Chester-le-Street on Wednesday and secured place in the semi-finals.
After Wednesday’s win, England got 12 points and they are comfortably in the semis, while New Zealand have 11 points, but they have much better net run rate. Pakistan will have to defeat Bangladesh by 316 runs in tomorrow’s (Friday) match to qualify for semi-finals, which needs a miracle to happen. If Bangladesh batted first, then run rate requirement will be known after completion of their batting. Had New Zealand won, Pakistan could have easily qualified for semi-finals by defeating Bangladesh.
Keeping in view the good form of Bangladesh, it will be hard for Pakistan to beat them. Defeating a strong team like Bangladesh by 316 runs is almost impossible and Pakistan is almost out of the World Cup semis race. Tomorrow’s match between Pakistan and Bangladesh is expected to be a formality and its outcome will decide where the two teams end up at points table.
Pakistan will definitely rue their defeats by a huge margin against the West Indies and arch rivals India which dented their net run rate badly. Pakistan would also rue their washed out match against Sri Lanka due to rain. Had Pakistan played and won that match, they would have been in semis by defeating Bangladesh. Pakistan also came closer to victory against Australia, but they lost due to irresponsible batting in the end.
Pakistan opening batsman Imam-ul-Haq conceded this fact in an interview and stated that a win against Australia would have guaranteed Pakistan semis spot. He said depending on others for qualifying for semis is not a comfortable position. India could also have beaten England in their previous match and pave way for Pakistan’s revival of semis hopes, but that did not happen. Some Pakistani cricket experts also questioned the sportsmanship of India in losing the match to England and denting Pakistan’s chances for qualifying for semi-finals.
Now the equation is almost impossible for Pakistan and they will seek honour in defeating Bangladesh. A win against Bangladesh will give Pakistani fans something to cheer.