Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed is banking on a miracle in their final round robin match to keep his side alive in the Cricket World Cup.

After the Black Caps were thumped by England on Thursday morning (NZ time), the door remains open for Pakistan to steal the fourth and final spot in the semifinals, but they need to do some major work to their net run rate.

Their fate could be sealed at the toss in tonight's clash against Bangladesh. Pakistan would need to win the toss and bat first to have any chance of moving above the Black Caps in the standings.

Speaking with media ahead of the match, Ahmed said Pakistan would set out to try and score 500.


"It's like you score 600, 500, 400 on a pitch then you think you can get the other team out for 50 and then win by a 316-run margin. If you think realistically, then we can only try. But the first real thing will be to win the match," he said.

"We will do our best to win the last game as well to end on a high and we will do our best to achieve that but we need to be realistic, but if Allah helps then miracles can happen."

Pakistan can draw level on points with New Zealand a win over Bangladesh tonight, but the Black Caps currently hold a net run rate of 0.175, while Pakistan are on -0.792.

That's a significant difference to overhaul in just one game – and has left Pakistan needing to produce the greatest performance in ODI history to make the final four.

if Bangladesh win the toss and opt to bat, there is no scenario where Pakistan qualify for the semifinals. Similarly, if Pakistan bat first and score fewer than 308, they also cannot qualify.

Their chances move from impossible to, well, simply inconceivable, if they put in a stunning performance while batting first. Score 350, and they have to win by 312 runs. 400 would require a victory of 316 runs, bowling Bangladesh out for 84 or fewer, while reaching 450 would need them to bowl Bangladesh out for 129 or fewer – and win by 321 runs.

All of those margins would double as the biggest win in ODI history – which is currently the Black Caps' 290-run win over Ireland in 2008 - while Pakistan's biggest ODI victory is a 255-run victory, also over Ireland, in 2016.

Their biggest victory over Bangladesh is by 233 runs, while the largest win at Lord's, where their clash will be held on Friday, is 202 runs.


The Alternative Commentary Collective are podcasting their way through the World Cup. Known for their unconventional sports analysis and off-kilter banter, the ACC have come to ask the tough questions. Here's the latest episode of 'The Agenda':