Pak, New Zealand strengthen chances of direct qualification for ICC World Cup 2023

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ISLAMABAD, AUG 22: Pakistan and New Zealand strengthened their chances of direct qualification for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 on late Sunday, but the West Indies will have to rely on other results if they are to avoid next year’s Qualifier.

Babar Azam’s side registered a narrow nine-run triumph over a gallant Netherlands in Rotterdam and moved equal on points with second-placed Bangladesh as a result of the victory.

Only net run rate separates Pakistan from Bangladesh now, with England leading all teams on 125 points from their 18 matches played.

New Zealand’s thrilling five-wicket win over West Indies also saw them gain a crucial 10 Cricket World Cup Super League points as they maintained fourth place on the standings with a total of 110 points.

The result from the series decider in Barbados was not kind for West Indies though, who have now completed all 24 of their Super League matches and sit seventh on the current standings.

Only the top eight teams will qualify directly for next year’s 50-over World Cup in India, and West Indies would need a host of other results go their way if they were to remain inside that top eight at the end of the qualification period.

While qualifying directly as 2023 World Cup hosts, India have the chance to jump in front of fifth-placed Afghanistan when they take on Zimbabwe in the third and final ODI of their series in Harare on Monday.

Should West Indies finish outside the top eight on the standings they will be forced into the Qualifier in Zimbabwe next year, alongside the remaining teams and five Associate sides just to earn their ticket to next year’s 50-over showcase.

West Indies have a rich history in the Men’s World Cup, having won the tournament twice in 1975 and 1979 and also finished runner up in 1983.