Australia beat Afghanistan by three wickets courtesy of a blistering innings by Glenn Maxwell in the 39th match of the ICC World Cup 2023 at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, on Tuesday yet Pakistan's path to the semi-final remains difficult.
Maxwell, 35, terrorised Afghanistan's bowlers and hit them all over the park as he, alongside skipper Pat Cummins, snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.
Australia's win saw them qualify for the World Cup semi-final while Afghanistan play South Africa on November 10 in their last group-stage match.
If Afghanistan win over the Proteas, they will be on 10 points along with Pakitsan and New Zealand if both teams win their matches.
However, Afghanistan's current NRR is negative and they would require a massive win over Temba Bavuma's men to be in contention to qualify for the semi-final. Thus, Pakistan's direct competition for the one last place in the semi-final is with New Zealand.
New Zealand is currently ranked fourth with 0.398 NRR while Pakistan is fifth with 0.036 NRR.
If NZ beat SL by 50 runs, Pakistan will have to beat England by 180 runs.
If NZ beat SL by 1 run, Pakistan will have to beat England by 131 runs.
If SL beat NZ, Pakistan will just have to beat England and they will qualify.
If SL vs NZ is washed out due to rain, Pakistan will just have to beat England to qualify.
November 9 — New Zealand vs Sri Lanka @ M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru, India.
November 10 — Afghanistan vs South Africa @ Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad, India.
November 11 — Pakistan vs England @ Eden Gardens, Kolkata, India.