Pakistan held alive their hopes of a semi-final World Cup location as they relocated to England with a six-wicket win over New Zealand. After Shaheen Afridi ripped through the top order of New Zealand, Babar Azam’s 101 saw Pakistan back in front of a partisan crowd at Edgbaston.
The unbeaten 97 of Jimmy Neesham had provided New Zealand an opportunity on a slow pitch. But in greater risk, Pakistan’s win with five balls to spare leaves hosts and England’s pre-tournament favorites.
Only wins in their final two group matches against New Zealand and India will be enough to secure a semi-final position for England. The top four locations looked set just last week, but qualifying could now go to the wire.
New Zealand would have joined Australia in confirming a top-four finish with a win but now they too have work to do after a first defeat of the tournament.