With three semifinalists already finalised in the ongoing World Cup 2023, the race for the solitary spot is picking up momentum gradually as there are four teams still in contention and are eyeing the same.
New Zealand are the frontrunners among the ones in the fray. They are currently occupying the fourth position on the points table with the help of eight points and a positive net run rate of 0.398. They are slated to take on Sri Lanka in their last game of the round-robin stage on Thursday, November 9.
The Babar Azam-led Pakistan are fifth on the table. They also have eight points to their credit but are behind the Blackcaps because of their net run rate (NRR) of 0.036. The 1992 world champions need to win their last game against out-of-form England and that too by a huge margin to get their net run rate up and running. At the same time, they will have to pray that the Kiwis lose to the Lankan Lions or the fixture gets washed out.
On the other hand, Afghanistan had things in control leading into their previous fixture against Australia and even at the halfway stage into the game but a Glenn Maxwell special foiled their plans and also dented their chances of making it to the last four.
The Hashamtullah Shahidi-led side also has eight points and is sixth on the ladder with a net run rate (-0.338) that doesn’t make for good reading. Their last fixture will see them take on the Proteas who have been playing some quality cricket in the ongoing edition and hence Afghanistan’s chances of qualifying for the semis look hazy.
Notably, the Netherlands are also alive in the race to the top four but it looks highly unlikely that they’ll be able to make it at the end.
With a wide array of possibilities in the mix, we conducted a poll and asked cricket fans who they think is highly likely to take up the remaining semifinal spot. The poll garnered a total of 8524 votes and the results indicate that the majority of the cricket fans see New Zealand joining India, South Africa and Australia in the semis.
Who among these will be the fourth team to reach the semifinal of the World Cup 2023?
New Zealand – 65%
Pakistan – 12%
Afghanistan – 17%
Can’t say – 6%
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