London, July 5 (IANS) Pakistan’s slim chances of making the semifinals came to an end on Friday after they failed to keep up with the net run rate to finish inside the top four teams in their last group match against Bangladesh at the Lord’s.
Fifth placed Pakistan needed to win the toss and bat first in order to still dream of achieving the improbable.
Faced with the challenge of beating Bangladesh by 311 runs after posting 350 or by 316 runs after scoring 400, Pakistan rode Imam-ul-Haq’s run-a-ball 100 and Babar Azam’s 96 to post 315/9 in 50 overs.
This meant they had to bowl out Bangladesh for seven runs or less, a task which was next to impossible. Chasing 316 for victory, Bangladesh openers Soumya Sarkar and Tamim Iqbal got the runs in two overs. It meant that New Zealand are the fourth and final time to qualify for the semifinals.
Pakistan’s resurgence in the World Cup looked eerily close to the 1992 Cup-winning edition before India lost to hosts and pre-tournament favourites England which dented Pakistan’s chances of making the semifinals.
And when New Zealand went down to the hosts, it was almost over for Sarfaraz and Co.