Even as Pakistan are all but out of the semi-final race, the Pakistan team director, Mickey Arthur, feels his side can still reach the semi-final, aided by some “divine help”.
New Zealand crushed Sri Lanka in Bangalore by chasing down the target of 172 in only 23.2 overs. This meant that New Zealand’s Net Run Rate went up to +0.743, which is realistically impossible for Pakistan to catch up.
Pakistan have an NRR of +0.036. To surpass New Zealand’s NRR, Pakistan will have to defeat England by 287 runs, or if they are chasing, they will need to chase a hypothetical target of 150 in 3.4 overs, which is realistically not probable.
However, Mickey Arthur has presented an optimistic face to the media, hoping for a little bit of “divine help”.
“Who knows how we are going to go in this competition,” Mickey Arthur said. “I have a real feeling we’re going to get to the semi-finals but let’s see what happens. What we do know is that it will in our hands come Saturday.
“With a little bit of divine help, we can get to the semi-final but we have to play well. We played the perfect game once, I think, and that was against Bangladesh.”
New Zealand have a firm grasp on the 4th spot and have all but sealed a date with India in the World Cup 2023 semi-final. However, this means the mouth-watering India vs Pakistan clash is unlikely now.
Fakhar has just been unbelievable: Mickey Arthur
Meanwhile, Mickey Arthur lavished rich praises on Fakhar Zaman. Upon returning to the team after being dropped after the first match, Fakhar smashed 81 runs in 74 balls against Bangladesh and then 126* off 81 against New Zealand to keep Pakistan’s hopes alive in the competition.
“Since Fakhar has come in he has just been unbelievable,” said Arthur. “Sometimes in campaigns like this it takes something to just ignite it and Fakhar certainly ignited that for us. We know when he plays well he is exceptional. I have always been a massive backer of Fakhar because I think he can change games.”
Pakistan will take on England on Saturday.