What do New Zealand and Pakistan need to do to qualify for the semi-finals?

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With England eliminated, South Africa qualified for the semi-finals, with the battle for the last two semi-final slots essentially between four teams. Here’s how the qualifying situations look for the other teams.

Australia
Played: 7, Pts: 10, NRR: 0.924
Remaining matches: vs Afghanistan, ban

Two points follow Victory over England This means Australia can seal a third semi-final spot and finish in the top three. They can confirm both if they beat Afghanistan in Mumbai on Tuesday – it will ensure that Afghanistan can only finish with a maximum of 10 points, which would be the maximum limit for both New Zealand and Pakistan.

Even if they lose to Afghanistan, they can finish in the top three even if they beat Bangladesh in the last match. For Afghanistan to overtake them, they will not only have to win both of their matches, but also surpass Australia’s net run rate. Currently, the gap there is huge – Australia sits at 0.924 compared to Afghanistan’s -0.330.

If Australia loses to both Afghanistan and Bangladesh, the net run rate may drop. Three teams – Australia, New Zealand and Pakistan – could fight for a place if Afghanistan beat South Africa and New Zealand and Pakistan win their last matches. If Afghanistan lose, four teams with 10 points can fight for two places. There too, Australia’s healthy NRR will make them favorites to qualify.

If New Zealand and Pakistan lose their last matches, Australia will qualify with 10 points despite losing their last two.

New Zealand
Played: 8, Pts: 8, NRR: 0.398
Remaining Matches: vs SL

With four defeats in their last four matches, New Zealand have a lot to do to secure a semi-final spot. Even if they win their last game, they could miss out if Australia beat Bangladesh and Afghanistan win their last two – if all these results, four teams will finish with 12 or more points.

Beating Sri Lanka, losing their last two to Afghanistan and beating Pakistan for England have been New Zealand’s best case. Then 10 points would take them as NRR didn’t come into the game.

If both New Zealand and Pakistan win their last games and Afghanistan win even one match, it could come down to a net run loss between the three teams. New Zealand currently have a strong NRR, and even if they beat Sri Lanka by just 300 by one run, Pakistan would need to beat England by 130 (with the same total) to get past them.

With rain forecast throughout the week in Bengaluru, New Zealand’s final match is also likely to be washed away; If that happens, they will finish with just nine points and have to hope for eight points after losing their remaining matches to Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Afghanistan
Played: 7, Pts: 8, NRR: -0.330
Remaining matches: vs Australia, SA

Afghanistan will surely qualify if they win their last two matches, as they are one of only four teams to finish with 12 or more points. The problem for them is that their opponents Australia and South Africa are two of the best teams in the tournament so far. The other problem for them is their NRR of -0.330, which is easily the poorest of the teams they could contend with for a spot in the semifinals.

Both Pakistan and New Zealand have the best chance of qualifying if they are on eight points after losing their last league matches. Then, even a win would be enough to qualify them, regardless of the run rate in the game.

Pakistan
Played: 8, Pts: 8, NRR: 0.036
Remaining Matches: Vs Eng

After seemingly falling out of the semi-final race, Pakistan bounced back with wins over Bangladesh and New Zealand, and now have a shot at the top four. For that to happen, though, they still have to rely on other results, even if they beat England in their last match. For example, even with 10 points, Pakistan could be out of the top four if New Zealand beat Sri Lanka and finish with a better NRR, and Australia win one of their last two. Afghanistan can also play if they win the last two.

Pakistan’s best case scenario is for them to beat England, Sri Lanka to beat New Zealand and for Afghanistan to lose their last two matches. Then, they will qualify without NRR coming into play.

As mentioned above, if New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by a narrow margin, Pakistan will need to win their last game easily to overtake them in the NRR. The advantage for Pakistan is that they will be playing the final game of the league stage, so they will know exactly what they need to do to qualify.

Sri Lanka
Played: 7, Pts: 4, NRR: -1.162
Remaining matches: vs Ban, New Zealand

The Netherlands
Played: 7, Pts: 4, NRR: -1.398
Remaining Matches: vs England, India

Both Sri Lanka and the Netherlands are in a similar position – their net run rates are poor, and they can get eight points at most. With three teams already beyond the eight, their only chance is for the other teams – New Zealand, Pakistan and Afghanistan – to lose all their remaining matches to stay in the eight. Then, either or both of these teams can win their last two matches to finish in the eight spot and the NRR will decide which team will go through.

Given their terrible NRR though, this is only a mathematical possibility.

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