Road to the Semi-Finals: NZ, Pakistan and Afghanistan’s Path in ICC Cricket World Cup 2023

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New Zealand

Played: 8, Pts: 8, NRR: 0.398
Remaining match: vs SL

New Zealand has the best net run rate (NRR) among the three teams, but they have lost their last four matches. Their recent defeat against Pakistan in Bengaluru makes their upcoming match against Sri Lanka crucial.

A win for New Zealand will greatly enhance their chances of reaching the semi-finals, as Pakistan and Afghanistan will need large victories to surpass them on NRR. However, if New Zealand loses, the only way they can qualify is if Pakistan and Afghanistan also lose and stay on eight points, in which case New Zealand could sneak through on NRR. This would mean a team qualifying for the World Cup semi-finals despite losing five out of nine games.

There’s also the possibility of a washout in Bengaluru, with rain predicted on Thursday. If that happens then New Zealand will finish on nine points, and again, the only way they can make the cut is if Pakistan and Afghanistan lose (assuming their matches aren’t washed out).


Played: 8, Pts: 8, NRR: 0.036
Remaining match: vs Eng

Pakistan’s NRR is the second-best among the three teams. If New Zealand loses to Sri Lanka or if their match is washed out, a win for Pakistan against England will put them in a strong position to qualify.

If New Zealand wins, Pakistan will not only need to beat England, but also beat them by a significant margin to go past New Zealand’s NRR.


Played: 8, Pts: 8, NRR: -0.338
Remaining match: vs SA

Afghanistan’s NRR of -0.338 is the worst among the three teams, so their best hope is that neither New Zealand nor Pakistan win their last game. In that case, any win margin against South Africa will be enough for Afghanistan to qualify. However, if New Zealand and Pakistan win their matches, Afghanistan will need to win by a large margin to go past Pakistan’s NRR. This will be a daunting task given their current form.

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