Pakistan, currently placed fifth on the World Cup points table with 9 points, are the only team not in the top four which still stands a mathematical chance of qualifying for the semifinals. Australia (14 points), India (13 points) and England (12 points) have sealed their place in the semifinals already.
Owing to their defeat to England on Wednesday, New Zealand (11 points) still have to wait on Pakistan’s match against Bangladesh to be assured of a berth in the top four, but their much superior net run rate keeps them in good stead.
New Zealand lost to England by 119 runs and they now have a net run rate of +0.175.
Pakistan, having succumbed to some heavy defeats in this World Cup, have a net run rate of -0.792.
If Pakistan win their last round-robin match against Bangladesh on Friday, they will be tied on points with New Zealand. However, the deficit in net run rate may prove too hard to overcome.
If Pakistan bat first against Bangladesh, they need to win by at least 308 runs to overtake New Zealand on net run rate. If they score 308 runs and dismiss Bangladesh for 0, they qualify for the semis. If they score 350 and win by 312 runs, they qualify. If they score 400 and win by 316 runs, they qualify. If they score less than 308, they cannot qualify.
No ODI has been won by more than 300 runs in history.
Pakistan cannot qualify if they bat second as they would need to overhaul the target in less than zero balls, a mathematical impossibility.
Therefore, a unique situation may come about when Bangladesh can eliminate Pakistan from the race for the semis at the toss itself.