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Sunday, July 21, 2024

Pakistan into the semifinals?

But as Harsha Bhogle pointed out, "Pakistan performs well when they are pushed against the wall."

Pakistan into the semifinals! Hopes alive as Pakistan takes on New Zeeland

The World Cup has been set on fire since the start of the second half of group matches. Pakistan, on Saturday, takes on new Zeeland. A defeat here will book the tickets for home. While a win will take a further step closer to the semifinals.

Pakistan, as usual, are depending on “Qudrat ka nizam”, and it is working well for them. When against South Africa, they lost a nail bitter. It was their fourth defeat on the trot. Which almost ended their World Cup hopes. But as Harsha Bhogle pointed out, “Pakistan performs well when they are pushed against the wall.”

This all came true when Pakistan outclassed Bangladesh and improved its ranking and net run rate. Pakistan is very aware of the net run rate, as they found themselves kicked out of the World Cup 2019 despite having equal matches won as New Zeeland. The win against Bangladesh has revived the spirit of the team and its supporters.

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New Zeeland was unstoppable at the start of the World Cup, winning four out of four matches. In their first match, they outclassed the defending champions and looked tremendous. But, their heavy defeat against South Africa was the third consecutive defeat. All this put the team in finding a place in the semis, which at once looked like making it through to the finals.

Saturday to define the future

The defeat of New Zealand in the hands of South Africa and Pakistan’s comprehensive win against Bangladesh have put the hopes and speculations on fire. On Saturday, as Pakistan takes on the New Zeeland, the result of the match will determine the remaining journey of both teams, especially Pakistan.

Pakistan’s team director expressed that the team is in high spirits and would do its best. He, while referring to previous matches except Bangladesh, said that the team did not perform as expected. He, while being circumspective, said, “I’d like to say we’re peaking, … but we found our best game against Bangladesh, and I just hope that’s not too late for us.”