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ICC CWC 2023: How can New Zealand, Pakistan or Afghanistan get the final semis spot?

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New Zealand, Pakistan and Afghanistan are three teams in contention for the fourth and final place in the knockout stages at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.

The race towards knockout stages is going down to the wire with only one spot still up for grabs after Australia became the latest entrant to top-four finish after hosts India and second-placed South Africa.

New Zealand is in critical fourth place after four successive losses and they are only separated from Pakistan and Afghanistan via net-run-rate as this trio of teams has eight points each. Netherlands have been eliminated from the semi-final race following their loss to England.

Let us look at what each team needs to do to reach the semifinals:

-New Zealand (4th Spot)

Wins: 4

Losses: 4

Net run rate: +0.398

Still to play: Sri Lanka (9 November)

Path to qualification:

*Win their remaining match against Sri Lanka to finish with five wins and 10 points. They also have to ensure to have a higher net run rate than the two teams – Pakistan and Afghanistan – that can also finish on 10 points if they win against England and South Africa.

* Or else, NZ can lose its final match and finish with eight points. They will then hope that Pakistan and Afghanistan both lose their remaining matches to end with eight points and Kiwis end up with the best NRR among these three teams.

-Pakistan (5th Spot)

Wins: 4

Losses: 4

Net run rate: +0.036

Still to play: England (11 November)

Path to qualification:

Men in Green should win their remaining match to finish on 10 points after five wins. In case NZ and Afghanistan also win their next two matches to finish on 10 points, Pakistan should end their league stage with the best NRR among these three sides. Or else, they can lose their last league stage match, hope that NZ and Afghanistan also lose to finish with eight points. Then once again, net-run-rate will be the deciding factor and Pakistan will need to have some good numbers attached to its name.

-Afghanistan (6th Spot)

Wins: 4

Losses: 4

Net run rate: -0.338

Still to play: South Africa (10 November)

Path to qualification:

Afghanistan will have to pull of another upset and defeat South Africa. Their victory will have to be highly comprehensive so that they finish with a higher NRR than that of NZ and Pakistan, if these two happen to finish with 10 points as well. Or else, the Afghans can lose their final match and finish with eight points. But then, their top-four hopes will be dependent on Pakistan and NZ, who will have to lose their last matches and finish at a lesser NRR as well. (ANI)

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