How Afghanistan's defeat helps other teams in contention

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New Zealand, Pakistan, Afghanistan and even Netherlands remain in contention for the last available semifinal spot
New Zealand, Pakistan, Afghanistan and even Netherlands remain in contention for the last available semifinal spot © AFP

Australia's barely believable win against Afghanistan has confirmed their semifinal clash against South Africa. India were the first side to confirm their semifinal berth but they await their opponent.

Here's what's at stake for each team going forward.

Points table (as on Nov 7)

India (Q) 8 8 0 16 2.456
South Africa (Q) 8 6 2 12 1.376
Australia (Q) 8 6 2 12 0.861
New Zealand 8 4 4 8 0.398
Pakistan 8 4 4 8 0.036
Afghanistan 8 4 4 8 -0.338
Bangladesh (E) 8 2 6 4 -1.142
Sri Lanka (E) 8 2 6 4 -1.16
Netherlands 7 2 5 4 -1.398
England (E) 7 1 6 2 -1.504

Remaining fixtures

England vs Netherlands, Pune, Nov 8

New Zealand vs Sri Lanka, Bengaluru, Nov 9

South Africa vs Afghanistan, Ahmedabad, Nov 10

Australia vs Bangladesh, Pune, Nov 11

England vs Pakistan, Kolkata, Nov 11

India vs Netherlands, Bengaluru, Nov 12

How does Afghanistan's defeat help teams in contention?

Afghanistan's heartbreaking defeat to Australia has meant the fortunes for New Zealand and Pakistan are sort of still in their own hands. All three teams are in the same ship, winning four and losing four, with only NRR being the differentiator. Should only one of the three sides win their final group game, the winner will be through to the semis; the two losing sides will bow out.

If at least two of Afghanistan, New Zealand and Pakistan win (or if all three lose), then NRR will decide who goes through. Of the three, New Zealand are the best placed with an NRR of +0.398. If New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by one run, Pakistan would need to beat England by 130+ runs and Afghanistan should beat South Africa by 273+ runs to surpass New Zealand's NRR (assuming teams' bat first and score 300 in all the games). If Afghanistan lose by one run, then they would need Pakistan to lose by 136+ runs and New Zealand by 266+ runs for them to pip New Zealand and Pakistan on NRR (assuming all three teams chase 300).

In case New Zealand lose their last match and both Pakistan & Afghanistan win theirs, Afghanistan would need to win by 140+ runs if Pakistan beat England by a solitary run (after scoring 300 batting first). Pakistan plays their final league game after both New Zealand and Afghanistan complete theirs, so will have the advantage of the exact equation known to them.

Where does this all leave Netherlands with two games to play?

The unexpected beneficiary of Australia's win at the Wankhede are Netherlands as the victory keeps them alive, mathematically at least. If either of Afghanistan, New Zealand or Pakistan win their final league match, Netherlands stand eliminated irrespective of their results against England and India. The only route for Netherlands to qualify is beat England and India and hope all three of Afghanistan, New Zealand, and Pakistan remain on eight points each. Having said that, Netherlands would need a massive win just to fuel their NRR into the positive territory.




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