The cricket world is keenly observing the potential impact of South Africa’s recent victory on New Zealand’s Net Run Rate (NRR) and its implications for Pakistan’s semi-final prospects.
On Wednesday, South Africa posted a mammoth total of 357-4 against New Zealand in Pune, after being asked to bat first. This match has drawn attention due to its potential influence on the NRR of New Zealand and Pakistan, two teams vying for a semi-final spot.
Pakistan, currently in the fifth position on the points table with six points from three wins out of seven matches, recently ended their four-match losing streak with a decisive seven-wicket win over Bangladesh at Eden Gardens. This crucial victory has kept Pakistan’s hopes alive for a semi-final berth, although they face a tough journey ahead.
New Zealand sits comfortably in the third spot on the points table with eight points. For Pakistan to leapfrog them, they need not only to defeat New Zealand in their upcoming fixture but also hope for a significant difference in run rate, assuming both teams finish with ten points.
As it stands, New Zealand’s net run rate is +1.232, while Pakistan’s is -0.024. Even if South Africa were to defeat New Zealand, the Kiwis’ net run rate cannot fall below Pakistan’s. The best outcome Pakistan can hope for is to match New Zealand’s net run rate, which would require an unlikely scenario where New Zealand is bowled out for 0 while chasing 358 runs.
Given these circumstances, it appears that New Zealand’s net run rate will remain superior to Pakistan’s post-Wednesday match, regardless of South Africa’s win. The next crucial fixture for these teams is New Zealand versus Pakistan on Saturday, October 4, in Bengaluru. This match will be a decisive factor in shaping the semi-final line-up of the ICC World Cup 2023.