CWC Match 43 Preview:Pakistan’s Fate Hangs in the Balance for 2023 World Cup Semifinals


England, the defending champion, and Pakistan, recently ranked the No. 1 ODI side, have both stumbled into precarious positions in the Champions Trophy, facing the threat of elimination. The tournament journey has been a stark departure from their anticipated high expectations. England finds itself on the brink of elimination, grappling with a series of setbacks and a puzzling lack of solutions to their woes. Meanwhile, Pakistan, for the second consecutive time, is entangled in a nerve-wracking battle based on Net Run Rate (NRR) to secure qualification.

In the lead-up to the tournament, both teams would have envisioned a smoother path, given their past achievements and rankings. However, England’s campaign has been plagued by unexpected challenges, leaving them at a loss for answers. On the other hand, Pakistan is left lamenting numerous missed opportunities throughout the tournament, where collective efforts failed to materialize. As the two cricketing powerhouses face the prospect of early exits, they find themselves grappling with unanticipated struggles, leaving fans and pundits alike intrigued by their quest to salvage their Champions Trophy aspirations.

A major concern for both England and Pakistan in the Champions Trophy has been the apparent toothlessness of their bowlers, particularly on unfamiliar conditions in India where they have had limited exposure. The challenges posed by the unique conditions added to the difficulties already faced by Pakistan due to problems within their cricket board. However, despite multiple setbacks, the team showed signs of a turnaround in the latter stages of the tournament, managing to stay afloat even as they grapple with various leaks.

England finds itself in a similar predicament, navigating through a forgettable tournament where their bowlers have struggled to make a significant impact. As the competition nears its conclusion, both teams have more than just pride at stake, with every match becoming crucial for redemption and salvaging what remains of a challenging campaign. The closing stages of the tournament will undoubtedly test the resilience of these cricketing nations as they seek to rectify their performances and end the competition on a positive note.

NRR scenario for Pakistan

In a scenario reminiscent of 2019, Pakistan faces a familiar Net Run Rate (NRR) challenge to secure a spot in the semi-finals. Back in 2019, they had to win their final league game by a massive 300+ run margin to surpass New Zealand on NRR for a coveted semi-final position. Despite both teams finishing with 11 points each, New Zealand clinched the spot due to a superior NRR, despite Pakistan having defeated them in the league phase on every occasion.

Now, in a parallel situation in the current tournament, Pakistan once again finds themselves intricately tied to the NRR calculations, emphasizing the importance of not only winning but winning convincingly in their final league match. The echoes of the past underscore the significance of every run scored and every wicket taken as Pakistan endeavors to navigate the NRR complexities and clinch a place in the highly sought-after semi-finals.

If Pakistan bat first

If Pakistan score – Restrict England to
300 – 13 runs
350 – 63 runs
400 – 112 runs
450 – 162 runs
500 – 211 runs
If Pakistan field first

If England score – Win inside
20 – 1.3 overs
50 – 2 overs
100 – 2.5 overs
150 – 3.4 overs
200 – 4.3 overs
300 – 6.1 overs

England’s Champions Trophy 2025 qualification scenarios:

Beat Pakistan (6 points) & hope at least one of Bangladesh or Netherlands lose their final game (4 points)

If they lose to Pakistan (4 points) & they would need at least one of Bangladesh or Netherlands lose their final game (4 points)

If England lose to Pakistan and both Bangladesh and Netherlands win their respective final games, England cannot qualify.

For England’s NRR to fall below that of Bangladesh’s current NRR (the next best placed team on NRR among the four contenders), they have to lose by around 140 runs.