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The Net Run-Rate Factor

BRISBANE–February 28, 2015

  • With 27 victories against three losses from 30 encounters, Pakistan’s superiority over Zimbabwe is well-established. The last of the three losses, in 2013, came 15 years after the previous one in 1999.
  • Pakistan and Zimbabwe have played 5 ODIs in World Cups previously, with Pakistan winning four with one game having been washed out. The washed out match was in 2003 in Bulawayo, and then too Pakistan needed to win big to quality for the Super Six stage. The rain took Zimbabwe to the Super Six instead.
  • Not just a must-win situation, Pakistan ought to win big to improve the Net Run Rate. Remember West Indies Friday lost by 257 runs, yet their NRR is better than Pakistan's.
  • In order to take its NRR above the West Indies, Pakistan would need to beat Zimbabwe by about 180 runs.
  • Stepping into the last two weeks of the pool games, with the wheat being sifted from the chaff, it seems quite likely that the last game of group stage between Pakistan and Ireland will decide which of team goes to the quarterfinals. Even if they beat Zimbabwe, the UAE and Ireland, in case they are undone by South Africa, it is possible that Pakistan may still miss out on the quarters on the basis of run rate, making it imperative that the NRR recovery commences from the game against Zimbabwe.
  • In a nutshell, Pakistan don't only need to beat Zimbabwe, they need to do so in a convincing manner to improve their NRR.