Cricket World Cup 2019 explainer: what Pakistan must do against Bangladesh to qualify for the semi-finals

Sarfaraz Ahmed's men have an unlikely chance of making the last four when they play their last group game at Lord's on Friday

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Pakistan are still in with a chance of reaching the Cricket World Cup final going into their final group game with Bangladesh on Friday at Lord's.

Admittedly it is a small opportunity with one of the most dominant performances in the history of one-day international cricket needed by Sarfaraz Ahmed's team if they are to join Australia, India and England in the last four.

England's win on Wednesday means the best Pakistan can do on Friday, if they beat Bangladesh in London, is finish level on 11 points with New Zealand.

But the net run rate of +0.175 that New Zealand built up in their nine games is significantly better then Pakistan's, which is on -0.792 ahead of Friday's action.

Here is what Pakistan need to do to qualify and how they can do it.

Win by 316 runs or more

The number crunchers have worked out that for Pakistan to best New Zealand's run rate they have to win at Lord's by 316 runs or better to prevail.

That would be a Cricket World Cup record if they could do it. The current highest margin is 275, achieved by Australia in Perth against Afghanistan at the 2015 tournament.

The biggest win at the 2019 tournament is England's 150-run success against Afghanistan in June in Manchester.

Cricket - ICC Cricket World Cup - Pakistan v Afghanistan - Headingley, Leeds, Britain - June 29, 2019   Pakistan's Sarfaraz Ahmed reacts after losing his wicket   Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith

Sarfaraz Ahmed must win the toss

Pakistan cannot overhaul New Zealand if Bangladesh bat first. The only scenario in which they can reach the semi-finals involves having first use of the wicket.

Batting second and winning, even if they won by 10 wickets in quick fashion, will not get the job done.

The coin needs to fall their way as in all probability Mashrafe Mortaza will choose to bat if he is given the chance.

All three matches at Lord's in this year's tournament have been won by the side who batted first so deciding to field would be a very odd decision.

It may be anti-climactic if Mortaza puts his side in to bat, which would instantly end Pakistan's hopes, but it would be unfair to blame him. He has to do what is right for his team and treat this as a normal match, even if it kills off any intrigue before a ball is bowled.

So Sarfaraz needs some luck just to keep his side in contention.

Babar Azam and Haris Sohail to bat big

If Pakistan score less than 316, they are out before Bangladesh even bat.

One bonus is they are familiar with the conditions at Lord's, having won by 49 runs against South Africa there on June 23. On that day they scored 308-7, which would not be enough on Friday.

Haris Sohail top-scored with 89. That came off 59 balls and included three sixes and he and his teammates need more of that against Bangladesh.

They have only twice passed 300 during the tournament and will need their inconsistent batsmen, including Mohammed Hafeez, Imam-ul-Haq and Sarfaraz to really find their range against Bangladesh.

Only Babar Azam, who averages 63 and has hit their lone hundred in the tournament, has shone with the bat.

Get past 400 for the first time

Pakistan's highest ODI score is 399-1, made against Zimbabwe in July 2018. Matching that would only be enough if they bowl out Bangladesh for 83, an unlikely scenario to say the least.

So Pakistan will have to score more than 400 for the first time in an ODI, and realistically nearer 450-460 to give their bowlers something to aim at.

They have gone big against Bangladesh before, scoring 385-7 against them in Dambulla in an ODI in June 2010, with Shahid Afridi smashing 124 off 60 balls that day.

But it will have to be something incredible for Pakistan to do what they need with the bat to qualify.

No side has passed 400 yet in the tournament. England's 397-6 against Afghanistan at Old Trafford being the highest total so far.

Pakistan's best score is 348 against England in their second game of the tournament on June 8.

Hope for a really bad day from Bangladesh

Bangladesh were eliminated on Tuesday after they lost to India, but even in defeat they came out with credit as they pushed the world No 1 ODI side hard before going down by 28 runs.

But their bowling has been expensive. Five times in eight games they have conceded 300 or more, with both England (386-6) and Australia (381-5) surpassing 380.

Given it is their last match, with nothing to play for, and their weary bowlers have already played in eight matches, the chances of Pakistan teeing off on them and doing something that smashes records is not completely implausible.

Pakistan would need Bangladesh to struggle with the bat and that is something they have rarely done.

Their lowest score in this competition is 244, made against New Zealand at The Oval. If they repeated that batting second on Friday then Pakistan would need to have made 560 to get the winning margin they need to qualify.

Amir, Riaz and Afridi to shine with the ball

If Pakistan's batsmen can set Bangladesh something around 100 or more to get to past the net run rate target then then they need their bowling attack to be on point.

That means Mohammed Amir, Wahab Riaz and Shaheen Shah Afridi all firing and bowling their hearts out.

Pakistan have to attack and expect, if they do have a chance, for Sarfaraz to use his pace trio in quick order and bowl through their overs at the start of the innings.

There will be no tactical leaving overs for his strike attack until the death this time around.

Where the damage was done

Pakistan are going to have to break a number of records if they are to make the semi-finals, as well as have a healthy dose of fortune.

But, given they only won one of their first five games, the fact Sarfaraz's men still have a chance, albeit a slim one, of making the last four is to their credit.

It is not recent displays that have cost them. Their horrendous 10-wicket loss to the West Indies in their opening game, where they were all out for 105 in just 21 overs is what has hurt them overall.

Lord's is almost certainly the end of the line for Pakistan this time around, but they can hopefully give the tournament one last blast of entertainment before they exit.