Crucial Showdown: Pakistan’s Quest for Historic Win and Semi-Final Berth

Historic Win Awaits: Pakistan's Crucial Showdown for Semi-Final Berth

Match Details

The highly anticipated match between Pakistan and England is set to take place on Saturday, 11th November at the iconic Eden Gardens, Kolkata.

Match Preview

Pakistan is on the brink of a historic triumph as they face England in a must-win encounter. They need to secure a significant victory to match New Zealand’s 10 points and surpass their net run rate.

The task is straightforward yet challenging for Pakistan – they must bat first and win by a margin of 287 runs or more. This would secure them the fourth spot and pave the way for a thrilling semi-final face-off with their arch-rivals, India.

Pakistan’s hopes hinge on their top order, who displayed a stellar performance against New Zealand. Fakhar Zaman (126*) and Babar Azam (66*) led the team to a score of 200/1 in just 25.3 overs.

This impressive performance helped Pakistan secure a 21-run victory over New Zealand under the DLS method, despite chasing a daunting 402. Now, they face England with their semi-final dreams hanging in the balance.

England, on the other hand, is motivated to secure their place in the next ICC Champions Trophy. Pakistan is slated to host this prestigious 50-over event in 2025, featuring the top eight teams at the end of this Cricket World Cup.

Currently placed seventh, England cannot climb higher in the standings. However, a third tournament win would ensure their qualification, given that Bangladesh and Netherlands also have one match left to play.

Team Line-ups

England Squad:

Jos Buttler (c), Moeen Ali, Gus Atkinson, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes, Brydon Carse, David Willey, Mark Wood, Chris Woakes.

Pakistan Squad:

Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Mohammad Rizwan, Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Salman Ali Agha, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Wasim.

Players to Watch

England – Dawid Malan

Despite England’s lackluster title defense, opener Dawid Malan has been a beacon of hope. He ranks among the top-10 run-scorers of the tournament, having scored 373 runs from eight innings. His century against Bangladesh and recent fifties against Australia and Netherlands have been noteworthy. England’s chances of securing an ICC Champions Trophy spot may hinge on Malan’s performance.

Pakistan – Fakhar Zaman

Fakhar Zaman, the explosive opener, has been instrumental in Pakistan’s recent performances. His return to the playing XI has been marked by back-to-back Player of the Match performances. His quickfire 81 against Bangladesh and a stunning 126* against New Zealand have kept Pakistan’s semi-final hopes alive. If Pakistan is to pull off a historic win, Fakhar is undoubtedly their key weapon.