Afghanistan secured a commanding seven-wicket victory against Sri Lanka in the 2023 World Cup, intensifying the competition for a spot in the semifinals.

As things stand, all three teams – Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan – have a viable shot at making it to the final four. Yet, Afghanistan presently holds a stronger position compared to their fellow Asian contenders.

Afghanistan stands at fifth place in the points table with three victories and as many defeats in six matches, boasting a net run rate of -0.718. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka, having won only two of their six games, occupies the sixth spot with a net run rate of -0.275. Pakistan shares the same points (four) as Sri Lanka but trails behind in seventh place due to their -0.387 run rate.

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Afghanistan’s prospects for playoff qualification are brighter than those of Sri Lanka and Pakistan at this juncture. They are just two points adrift of New Zealand and Australia, positioned in third and fourth place, respectively. Afghanistan’s next three matches in the World Cup are against Australia, South Africa, and the Netherlands.

Should Afghanistan secure victories in all three matches, they would end with a maximum of 12 points. However, these wins need to be substantial to surpass Australia in terms of net run rate, as both teams would be level on points if Australia secures two victories.

In case Afghanistan loses one of their remaining matches, they would rely on Australia or New Zealand facing defeat at least twice. Additionally, they could aim to match South Africa’s points. If Afghanistan secures two wins moving forward, including one against South Africa, they would finish with 10 points. However, they would also need to bank on South Africa losing their other two fixtures. This scenario would place both teams at 10 points.

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