Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Who Will Pakistan Play in the Semi Finals?

After Pakistan's victory tonight, almost everyone who congratulated me via phone call, sms, facebook, email, etc also asked, "So how do we avoid South Africa in the semi finals?"

Majority of the Pakistan fans I know want to face the West Indies, for obvious reasons.

South Africa are too tough, they look like the strongest side in the World Twenty20, they haven't lost a match, and so on.

However, I think we are forgetting that South Africa are the eternal chokers.

The West Indies are riding a wave; they are on a roll, and hence could prove to be the more dangerous opponents in the semi finals.

I would rather see Pakistan play South Africa. Facing the West Indies may also put the Pakistan players at ease, which we don't want.

They need to be at their fiery best!

Anyhow, to answer the question, here are the scenarios:

Scenario 1: South Africa beats India, Sri Lanka beats New Zealand

This is straight forward as South Africa and Sri Lanka will top their respective Groups.

Semi Final 1: South Africa vs Pakistan
Semi Final 2: Sri Lanka vs West Indies

Scenario 2: South Africa beats India, New Zealand beats Sri Lanka

Here, South Africa tops Group E; who tops Group F will be determined by net run rate (NRR).

A) If New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by 34 runs or more, or chase their target in less than 16 overs, then their NRR will go above Pakistan's and they will finish top of their group.

In that case the semi final line up will be:

Semi Final 1: South Africa vs Pakistan
Semi Final 2: New Zealand vs West Indies

B) If New Zealand win by a lesser margin than stated above, then Pakistan tops Group F and the line up becomes:

Semi Final 1: South Africa vs New Zealand
Semi Final 2: Pakistan vs West Indies

Scenario 3: India beats South Africa, Sri Lanka beats New Zealand

Here Sri Lanka will top Group F, while India's margin of victory will determine who tops Group E.

A) If India beat South Africa by at least 32 runs, or chase their target in less than 16 overs, then West Indies will end up on top of Group E as South Africa's NRR will fall below theirs.

In this case the semi final line up will be:

Semi Final 1: West Indies vs Pakistan
Semi Final 2: Sri Lanka vs South Africa

B) A lesser margin of victory for India will see South Africa remaining on top of Group E, and the semi finals will be:

Semi Final 1: South Africa vs Pakistan
Semi Final 2: Sri Lanka vs West Indies

Scenario 4: India beats South Africa, New Zealand beats Sri Lanka

In this case all the Scenarios - 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B - are possible, hence all possible semi final combinations are possible.

Even yet, all scenarios, 1 through 4, are possible and Pakistan could be facing either South Africa or the West Indies in the World T20 semi finals.

Who would you rather see them play?

Make your pitch on this post...

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17 Pitched:

  1. amk said...

    Q i believe it doesnt matter who we face . What matters most is which Pakistani team comes to the field. Is it the one which played against England ... then we are done and dusted.
    If it is the one which fought againt NZ then no team is good enough.

    Having said that i agree with you i fancy there chances against SA then WI of now . Against WI we would cancel each other out and it would be a low scoring and boring match .
    Whereas we know against SA either it will be a humiliating defeat or a breath taking victory

  2. Wasim said...


    At this stage it doesn't really matter who we face, all we need is to win two more matches.

    And for that all the big guns will have to deliver.

    I think Razzak should bat at #3 and Afridi at #4 and they should be given a license to kill.

    The way Younis, Misbah and Malik are batting it's not ging to change so Pakistan should score as much as they can in the first 8-10 overs there will still be enough batting left for the last 10-12 overs Fawad, Malik, Misbah, Younis and Gul.

    But the Key is that the top players must score @9 or 10/over.

    Pakistan must be prepared to be peppered with fast and short pitched stuff, both SA and WI bowlers are going to bully the openers.

  3. Mutant said...

    Excellent work!

    Dear, publish something about Shoaib Malik.His T20 stats, one day stats.How many match winnings he has played.

    He is not in form in the last few series and esp. in this T20.I think he should be replaced by a solid batsman or baller.We don't need a half baked all rounder like him.

  4. karachi khatmal said...


    a bit crazy calculations there Q... i can't begin to think of the future just yet, although your point about facing the windies on a roll is well taken - i mean it would be better to face them in the final.

    tell me what you think of this - almost always the winners of a major competition (not just in cricket) are the team that has had a breathtaking semi-final win (unless its australia)

  5. straight point said...

    Q...if i were pakistan i would fancy my chances with sa more coz there are very predictable with every move of theirs...and you can plan for it...while west indies can crush any plans you make for them as they are as fickle as pak are...

  6. Q said...


    That's a good point. But I think we are improving with every game, hence most probably our better team will arrive.

  7. Q said...


    I agree with you, the important bit is that we are prepared for the semis no matter who we are up against.

    Younis Khan has done exceptionally well in the world cup, hence I would keep him at 4.

    One of Afridi or Razzaq at 3 and the other at 6 or 7 - that is the order I will go with.

  8. Q said...


    Thanks and welcome to Well Pitched.

    I believe Malik is just a bit out of form, though there might be some more concerns than that. With the bat he has been below par in this world cup, but I think he will come good soon.

    Will do something on the stats soon.

  9. Q said...


    Thats true.. usually the team that comes into the final after an easy semi final victory, or a relatively easier one, ends up taking the final a bit lightly.. while the one that has had to fight harder continues to do so...

  10. Q said...


    That is exactly what I was thinking, hence I said I would rather face SA.

    I can't believe we agree ;-)

  11. rahul said...

    south africa will fancy playing Pakistan rather than Sri Lanka.

    the proteas will be happy if sri lanka face Windies and one of them goes out

  12. Rayden said...

    I think WI team is sort of like Pakistan. They can acheive great heights and fall to great lows. Hence a match between Pak vs WI will be extremely exciting but I would give Pak the edge - they have won more tournaments than WI and will be able to hold their nerve. Also Pak has a much better variety in their bowling.

  13. Superunknown said...

    Most prolly WI. would be an apt contest. Match between 2 unpredictable teams. Gul vs Gayle.

    Gul aur Gayle ka akamal :)

  14. Anonymous said...

    Gul aur Gayle ka akamal :)
    I like your play on words. I hope We face the W indies in the final

  15. Q said...


    After seeing how SA fared against Indian part time spinners, I think Pakistan has a fair chance against them.

  16. Q said...


    True.. a lot of us seem the similarities between Pakistan and West Indies.. but we have had the better of them recently.. but the WI in this cup has been quite impressive.

  17. Q said...


    I would rather have a WI vs Pak final.. thats one team I wouldn't mind watching Pak lose to..

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