Pakistan increased their chances of qualification with the win against South Africa. Also, along with Afghanistan, South Africa officially became the second side to be knocked out of the tournament.
This World Cup needs to thank Sri Lanka for opening up the entire table when they inflicted a shock defeat on England at Leeds. This has now thrown open many interesting scenarios.
We take a look at the most realistic scenarios:
Teams which could be the semi-finalists
New Zealand and India are the only sides to be unbeaten in the campaign so far. While New Zealand top the table with 5 wins from 6 matches, India has won 4 out of their 5th match. The Kiwis are one win away from securing their berth, while India needs two more wins.
Kohli’s boys are scheduled to play England, West Indies, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh and hence, winning two matches should not be too taxing for them.
Australia to have been having a good tournament and barring the blip against India, they have looked to be a team in form. They are slated to play against England, New Zealand and South Africa and need to win one more match to guarantee qualification. However, if they stay on 10 points, they would then hope that Sri Lanka loses at least two of their remaining fixtures, and Bangladesh and Pakistan lose at least one match.
England – What about it?
The number 1 side, the firm favorites and also the side which has lost to Pakistan and Sri Lanka. They are now scheduled to face India, New Zealand and Australia, the in-form sides, and if they lose all the three matches, they remain stranded on 8 points and they could be ousted from the league stage.
However, even if they win one more match, their qualification is not guaranteed, although it does increase. If Sri Lanka wins all their remaining three matches, they can finish with 12 points and overtake England.