The ODI World Cup 2023 is in full swing, and cricket fans around the world are on the edge of their seats as the tournament enters its knockout stage. While India, South Africa and Australia have already secured their spots in the semi-finals with impressive performances, the race for the fourth and last spot is heating up, with Pakistan, New Zealand, and Afghanistan in contention for the place.

Fans desire to see India-Pakistan battle in semi-final

As the deciding fixtures approach and the knockout stage comes closer, there’s one matchup that has captured the imagination of fans, and that is a potential semi-final clash between India and Pakistan.

It is worth mentioning that the rivalry between India and Pakistan in cricket is legendary, with each encounter between the two teams being a high-stakes battle. The prospect of an India-Pakistan semi-final showdown in the 2023 ODI World Cup is no doubt tantalizing, and here’s how it could become a reality.

India’s dominance

India has been in outstanding form throughout the tournament, displaying their cricketing prowess and consistency. With an unbeaten run of eight matches, they have already secured the top spot in the league stage. The Men in Blue are now waiting to see who will emerge as their semi-final opponent.

Pakistan’s rollercoaster journey

On the other hand, Pakistan’s journey in the 2023 ODI World Cup has been a rollercoaster ride. They started on a good note but later suffered a string of losses, leaving their qualification for the semi-finals in doubt. However, they’ve shown resilience and have come back into contention with some crucial victories, including a recent win over New Zealand in a rain-affected match.

Also READ: Australia veteran Shane Watson predicts the two finalists of ODI World Cup 2023

The road to India-Pakistan semi-final

For India and Pakistan to meet in the semi-finals, there are several conditions that must be met. On that note, here are the circumstances that must fall right to make the highly anticipated showdown between India and Pakistan a reality:

Scenario 1: Pakistan finishes with ten points

  • Pakistan must secure a victory against England in Kolkata on November 11. Additionally, it is imperative that this win is achieved with a substantial run-rate advantage. This triumph would contribute two crucial points to Pakistan’s total, elevating them to ten points in the standings.
  • Currently in the running for the fourth spot, Afghanistan should lose their next match to South Africa. This would leave them with a total of eight points. Even if Afghanistan wins  and secures ten points, their run rate should not surpass Pakistan’s net run rate.
  • New Zealand, who are also in the hunt for the fourth spot, must lose to Sri Lanka. Even if they secure a victory, their overall net run rate should remain inferior to that of Pakistan.
  • India must beat the Netherlands in their upcoming match to finish at the top of the table, securing the number one spot in the league stage.

If all of these results align, India and Pakistan are likely to meet in the semi-finals, setting the stage for a historic and highly anticipated clash. As it stands, Australia and South Africa are looking set to finish as the second and third teams in the table, which means if Pakistan finishes fourth, then they would face the top-ranked India as per rules.

Scenario 2: Pakistan finishes with eight points

  • In the event of Pakistan’s defeat to England, resulting in eight points, it is essential to ensure that the defeat does not adversely impact their net run rate.
  • New Zealand must lose to Sri Lanka by huge margin, with their net run rate remaining lower than Pakistan’s.
  • Afghanistan must experience loss in their forthcoming matche against South Africa, and their net run rate must fall below that of Pakistan.
  • Netherlands, another contender for the fourth spot, must face losses against both India and England.
  • India must secure a victory against the Netherlands in their upcoming match, ensuring their top position in the league stage standings.

Also READ: England all-rounder Ben Stokes picks the best bowler of ODI World Cup 2023

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