When we say impossible, this is no exaggeration. Pakistan really have an absolutely impossible task ahead of them heading into the final game of the tournament at the home of cricket, failing which could cost them a place in the semifinals. The scenarios for them to qualify are so complicated that it’s beyond cricketing reach, at least such results have not been achieved in cricket between two on-par teams. One fair chance for Pakistan could be to score the impossible 500 runs as that gives them around 170 runs to play with.
If that track is good enough for them to score 500, it will be difficult to restrict Bangladesh as well but that is what the situation demands right now. Worst of all, if Bangladesh decide to bat first, Pakistan will be eliminated without a ball being bowled as they cannot overhaul New Zealand’s run rate while chasing.
While England’s two consecutive defeats to Sri Lanka and Australia had brought their semi-final chances under cloud, they were back on track by beating India and New Zealand in a row. The hosts’ temporary slump had kept Pakistan, who won three back-to-back games after a poor start, interested till the last moment.
We are here to win all the matches
The Black Caps, despite their three consecutive losses, still have a far better net run-rate (NRR) than Pakistan who are in the negatives, and to overtake them, the Men in Green will have to beat Bangladesh by an unlikely margin, say for example by 300 runs. The biggest victory margin in terms of runs till now is 290 (New Zealand had beaten Ireland in July 2008). Pakistan certainly have to break all records to make an unlikely entry into the top four.
Sarfaraz has kept a realistic check on the scenario though. He said it wouldn’t be wise for his team to think about the NRR. “Obviously we are here to win all the matches. We will do our best to win the last game as well. We will do our best but we need to be realistic. If you score 600, 500 or 400 score on a pitch then you think you can get the other team out for 50? It will be tough but we will still give it a try,” the wicketkeeper-batsman said ahead of their last league game.