The T20 World Cup Super 12 stage is down to the final few games and Australia’s chances of defending their title are hanging by a thread.
Their heavy loss to New Zealand in their first match, coupled with their MCG washout against England and the Poms beating the Kiwis on Tuesday night, means Australia are at long odds to progress from Group 1.
With one match left for each team, New Zealand, Australia and England are now tied on five points with Sri Lanka one adrift after avoiding any washouts and splitting their four results 2-2.
Group 2 is also going down to the wire but barring an upset result, India should be one of the two teams advancing to the semi-finals but South Africa’s chances of joining them copped a blow with their loss to Pakistan on Wednesday night.
CLICK HERE for a seven-day free trial to watch cricket on KAYO
Sydney will host the first semi-final on Wednesday, November 9, with Adelaide Oval the venue for the next one the following day with the MCG set to be sold out for the final on Sunday night.
1. New Zealand (Five points, 2-1-1 record, NRR +2.233): The Black Caps have a superior net run rate of +2.233, largely due to their 89-run thumping of Australia at the SCG to kick off the Super 12 stage. They meet Ireland on Friday afternoon in the Adelaide Oval curtain-raiser. If they win, they’re in.
2. England (Five points, 2-1-1 record, NRR +0.547): The victory over the Kiwis at the Gabba on Tuesday night has given England one foot in the door and they have the luxury of sitting back watching New Zealand and Australia play before their final group game against Sri Lanka on Saturday. If NZ win and the Aussies thump Afghanistan, England will know exactly what their equation will be when they step onto the SCG and can play accordingly.
3. Australia (Five points, 2-1-1 record, NRR -0.304): The equation is relatively simple – beat Afghanistan by the biggest margin in the quickest time possible to put the pressure on England against Sri Lanka. With injury clouds over Aaron Finch, Tim David and Marcus Stoinis, their chances of back-to-back World Cup trophies are looking slim.
4. Sri Lanka (Four points, 2-2 record, NRR -0.457): They are a mathematical chance – they need Ireland or Australia to lose and then they’ll have to upset England.
5. Ireland (Three points, 1-2-1 record, NRR -1.544): It would take all the luck of the Irish for them to sneak into the semis. Basically they’d need to flog New Zealand enough to make up the net run rate between them, and then hope that Australia lose so they’d advance alongside the winner of England vs Sri Lanka. More important for the Irish is sneaking into the top four in the group which guarantees them automatic entry to the next World Cup in the US and Caribbean in 2024.
6. Afghanistan (Two points, 0-2-2 record, NRR -0.718): It’s a shame that they’ve had a couple of washouts, particularly what would have been an historic first appearance at the MCG. They need to save face with a decent showing against Australia.
1. India (Six points, 3-1 record, NRR +0.73): They are all but in the semis after winning Wednesday night’s clash with Bangladesh in Adelaide. A win over Zimbabwe to finish should not cause too many problems.
2. South Africa (Five points, 2-1-1 record, NRR +1.441): The Proteas looked like they had booked their spot in the semis when they knocked over India in Perth on the weekend but they took a step backwards when they lost to Pakistan in Sydney on Thursday. They should still be able to advance by knocking over the Dutch in Adelaide on Sunday.
3. Pakistan (Four points, 2-2 record, NRR +1.117): If they had have held their nerve in the final over of their first two matches against India and Zimbabwe, they’d be at the top of the group. They have kept their hopes alive by downing South Africa in a rain-shortened clash in Sydney on Thursday but now have to beat Bangladesh and hope the Proteas are washed out (so they can leapfrog them on net run rate) or go down to the Netherlands.
4. Bangladesh (Four points, 2-2 record, NRR -1.276): They threw caution to the wind against the might of India and nearly added to their win over them from 2019. They now need to upset Pakistan in Adelaide on Sunday and hope the Proteas wilt to ensure an unlikely semi-final berth.
5. Zimbabwe (Three points, 1-2-1 record, NRR -0.313): They are all but out of the hunt after losing to the previously winless Dutch in Adelaide on Wednesday afternoon. They won’t cause a boilover against India on Sunday night in Melbourne.
6. Netherlands (Two points, 1-3 record, NRR -1.233): They were outclassed in their first three matches but took their only realistic chance of a win on Wednesday afternoon against Zimbabwe.