Bengaluru, July 5: Pakistan will play Bangladesh in their final league match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 at Lord's on Friday.
Mathematically, Pakistan still have a chance of making it to the last four by pipping New Zealand in terms of net run-rate (NRR) after matching their points (11).
But Sarfaraz Ahmed's side doesn't have a realistic chance since they have to beat Bangladesh by a massive 300-run margin to do it.
There are several factors that had kept the World Cup dream at bay for the Men in Green despite them drawing a close parallel to their famous mission in 1992.
Here are seven reasons that dashed Pakistan's hopes:
Loss to the West Indies: While all top teams in the tournament have beaten the Caribbeans in the tournament, Pakistan were thumped by them in the very first game at Trent Bridge (May 31). That was a costly loss for Pakistan. Had they earned those two points against the WI that all other teams except all-losing Afghanistan did, making the semifinals wouldn't have been a tough ask.
Loss to Australia: The Australians were still in their take-off phase and after having a scare against the West Indies, were beaten by India. Pakistan could have ensured that the shaky Kangaroos were beaten once more but they faltered. Sarfaraz Ahmed, for some unknown reason, won the toss (June 12) and elected to field after India beat Australia in just the previous game after scoring a big total. The Aussies were off to a flier and even though Pakistan bowlers did well to get them all out for 307 from 189 for two, their batting crumbled and they were shot out for 266. It was another big opportunity that went wasted.
India's abandoned game against New Zealand: Though one can't really predict outcomes of ODIs, but having seen New Zealand's ordinary performance against top teams in this World Cup, an Indian win was not unlikely too. But the Trent Bridge game (June 13) was abandoned without a ball being bowled. Had NZ not got that one point, Pakistan would have a chance today.
Wash-out against Sri Lanka: Sarfaraz Ahmed would consider himself unlucky for having shared a point with Sri Lanka, one of the most ordinary sides in the tournament barring that impressive win over England. Pakistan have beaten Sri Lanka a number of times in the recent past and could repeat once more but for the rain in Bristol (June 7). That also hurt the 1992 champions.
Carlos Brathwaite's mishit: Had the West Indian's glory shot cleared the roped against New Zealand in that thriller at Old Trafford on June 22. The Caribbean's mad batting had taken his team to the threshold of victory from a hopeless position but for centurion Brathwaite's dismissal in the 49th over that left the West Indies five runs short. Had that game been won by the Windies, Pakistan would have needed just a simple win against Bangladesh on Friday.
India's loss to England: Pakistan were eagerly praying for an Indian win after England had a temporary slip in the tournament. But it was the day when the hosts chose to return to the tournament and they did it in style. Jonny Bairstow slammed a hundred which was matched by Rohit Sharma but none in the Indian batting line-up could match the knock played by Ben Stokes. India lost by 31 runs at Edgbaston (June 30) and that almost sank Pakistan's hopes.
New Zealand's loss to England: Pakistan's final hopes were dashed when the Kiwis, who have suddenly found themselves on a downhill curve, lost to England by 119 runs. Another hundred from Bairstow saw England putting up a total of 305 for eight in Chester-le-Street but the Kiwis were skittled out for 186. That was almost the end of the road for Pakistan.