How Pakistan can qualify for Asia Cup 2023 final?

In the 2023 Asia Cup Super Four match, Pakistan faced a devastating loss to India, with India winning by a massive 228-run margin in Colombo on Monday.

Pakistan was chasing a challenging target of 357 runs but could only manage 128/8 in 32 overs due to injuries to bowlers Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah, who didn’t bat. Indian spinner Kuldeep Yadav played a crucial role, taking five wickets for just 25 runs, resulting in India’s largest-ever victory over Pakistan in One Day International (ODI) cricket.

This resounding win catapulted India to the top of the Super Four standings in the 2023 Asia Cup, and they are now set to face defending champions Sri Lanka in their next Super Four match.

Despite the humiliating loss to India, Pakistan still has a chance to make it to the tournament final. Before facing India, Pakistan had convincingly defeated Bangladesh in the Super Four phase. However, Pakistan has only one Super Four match remaining, which is against Sri Lanka.

Looking at the current Super Four points table, Sri Lanka holds a better net run rate (+0.420) compared to Pakistan (-1.892). To keep their hopes alive for qualifying for the final, Pakistan must secure a victory against Sri Lanka in their final Super Four fixture.

Meanwhile, India can strengthen their position at the top of the Super Four standings by winning their remaining two Super Four matches against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. However, if Sri Lanka manages to upset India and Pakistan in the Super Four stage, they could secure their place in the Asia Cup final.

In such a scenario, Pakistan’s chances would depend on India losing to Bangladesh. To improve their odds of reaching the final, Pakistan would prefer India to defeat Sri Lanka, eliminating the need for net run rate calculations and allowing for a virtual semi-final against Sri Lanka to determine the finalist.

Lastly, if rain affects the match between India and Sri Lanka, both teams will share points, which would eliminate Bangladesh from contention. This outcome would favor Pakistan, despite their lower Net Run Rate (NRR). If both India, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan’s matches against Sri Lanka are abandoned due to weather, Sri Lanka would advance to the final.

India would also qualify unless they suffer a defeat by more than 300 runs against Bangladesh. In the unlikely scenario where all three upcoming matches are called off, the final match would be contested between India and Sri Lanka.

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