After seemingly falling out of contention for a spot in the semi-finals, Pakistan has staged a remarkable comeback with victories over Bangladesh and New Zealand. Now, they find themselves with a glimmer of hope to secure a coveted top-four finish. However, their fate still hangs in the balance, and they must rely on other results, even if they emerge victorious against England in their upcoming match.
To illustrate, even if Pakistan accumulates 10 points, their semi-final dreams could evaporate if New Zealand triumphs over Sri Lanka with a superior Net Run Rate (NRR) or if Australia secures a win in one of their remaining two fixtures. Adding to the uncertainty, Afghanistan could become the ultimate party crashers if they manage to clinch victories in their last two matches.
In the best-case scenario for Pakistan, they would need to defeat England, hope for Sri Lanka to triumph over New Zealand, and rely on Afghanistan losing their remaining matches. This combination of outcomes would see Pakistan through to the semi-finals without the need for NRR calculations.
However, as previously mentioned, if New Zealand manages to best Sri Lanka, even by a narrow margin, Pakistan would be compelled to win their last game by a significant margin to surpass New Zealand in NRR. The advantage for Pakistan lies in the timing of their crucial encounter as they play the penultimate game of the league stage. This positioning grants them the advantage of knowing precisely what they must accomplish to secure their spot in the semi-finals. The stage is set for an exhilarating and nerve-wracking conclusion to Pakistan's journey in the tournament.