Isn’t cricket wonderful? With all teams now having played two games each, and with one round of games in the group stage to go, all eight can still qualify for the semi-finals of cricket’s second-most prestigious one day international tournament!
Here are the qualification scenarios ahead of the final group games
The Group A table is currently looking like this:
|Team||Played||Wins||Points||Net Run Rate|
England have an unassailable lead at the top of the table, regardless of their result against Australia at Edgbaston on Saturday.
The tie-breaker rules take into account number of wins first, and then Net Run Rate (NRR), and with England sitting on two wins and the only team that can catch them on points, Australia, having no wins, England cannot be overhauled. They will therefore play the runners up from Group B in the first semi-final at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff on 14th June.
So all that remains in Group A is to decide which of the other three teams will qualify to join the hosts in the semis. Here’s how it might play out:
If England beat Australia (or there is a no-result in this game due to rain) AND there is a result in the other game between New Zealand and Bangladesh, then the winner of that other game will finish second and will go through to face the winners of Group B at Edgbaston on the 15th June.
(Note: if there is no result between England and Australia, the winner of NZ/Bangladesh and the Australians would both have 3 points, but Australia would have no wins, and would therefore be relegated to third on the tie-breaker)
If England beat Australia, but the NZ/Bangladesh game is a wash-out, all 3 of Australia, Bangladesh and New Zealand would have 2 points. The BlackCaps will finish bottom of the group, as their NRR is the lowest of the three, and it won’t change so they can’t overtake Bangladesh. It will then come down to NRR between Australia and Bangladesh as to who finishes second. If England beat Australia by a greater margin than they beat Bangladesh, then Bangladesh go through. If they win by a lesser margin than against the Tigers, then the Aussies will scrape through.
If Australia beat England, then Australia will qualify second on 4 points, and both NZ and Bangladesh will be eliminated regardless of the result in their game.
If both games are abandoned as no-results, then again Australia will qualify second, and the Tigers and Blackcaps will have to pack their bags.
The Group B table currently looks like this:
|Team||Played||Wins||Points||Net Run Rate|
Conventional wisdom was that this group would be a walk in the park for two of the pre-tournament favourites, India and South Africa. Someone forgot to tell Sri Lanka and Pakistan that though, and after two stunning upset results in the last two days (here) and (here) the group is very much wide open.
Cats are very much amongst the pigeons at this stage, and one of the group’s “big two” is very likely going home early.
With India playing South Africa next, and Pakistan up against Sri Lanka, those two games effectively become quasi-quarterfinals, with the winners progressing to the semi-finals and the losers heading to Heathrow airport.
Of course, results on the field have only been one part of the story of this tournament, with the weather being the winner in two games so far. So what happens if either or both remaining Group B games also get abandoned as no-results? Let’s look at each scenario:
India v South Africa game has a result, but Sri Lanka v Pakistan is washed out
The winner of India v South Africa will go through as group winners on 4 points and face the Group A runner-up at Edgbaston on the 15th of June. The loser is eliminated.
Sri Lanka will have 3 points but qualify as runners-up due to their superior Net-Run-Rate over Pakistan, and will face Group A winner England in the semi-final at Cardiff on the 14th June. Pakistan will be eliminated.
India v South Africa is a no-result, but there is a winner between Sri Lanka and Pakistan
The winner of Sri Lanka v Pakistan will go through as group winners on 4 points and face the runner up of Group A at Edgbaston on the 15th June. Loser is eliminated.
India will qualify as runners-up on 3 points due to their superior Net-Run-Rate over South Africa, and will face Group A winner England in the semi-final at Cardiff on the 14th June. South Africa will be eliminated.
Both games are washed out as no-results
All four teams will end up on 3 points, with one win apiece, and the group positions will therefore be decided on Net-Run-Rate alone.
As per the table above, India will win the group and play the Group B runners up, and South Africa will finish second and face England in Cardiff for a place in the final.
This is the only scenario whereby both India and South Africa can qualify.