There is now only one place left in the race to secure the semi-finals of the ongoing ODI World Cup. After India, South Africa and Australia have already confirmed their semi-finals. It is also certain that Australia and South Africa will face each other in the fight to reach the final. Fourth place remains.
The team placed fourth in the points table will take on India in the semi-finals. But who will be India’s opponent? We have to wait till November 11 to get this decision. New Zealand and Sri Lanka will meet next Thursday (November 9).
Then the Afghanistan-South Africa match on 10th Friday. Then Pakistan will play against England on 11th. The final semi-finalists will be determined in these three matches. Let’s take a look at who’s equation for the semi-finals.
New Zealand (8 points from 8 matches, net run rate 0.39)
New Zealand is in the best position in the semi-finals despite losing four matches in a row. The best way for New Zealand to retain fourth place in the points table is to beat Sri Lanka in their last game. With this, the loss of Pakistan and Afghanistan will keep them absolutely safe.
However, even if Pakistan and Afghanistan win their matches, the Kiwis can stay in the fourth place. The Kiwis have a higher net run rate than the other two teams. Even if they win by 1 run against Sri Lanka, Pakistan will need to beat England by at least 130 runs to surpass New Zealand’s run rate.
Also, Afghanistan need to win by a huge margin (at least 250 runs) against South Africa. Even if they lose against Sri Lanka, the Kiwis will want Pakistan and Afghanistan not to win.
Pakistan (8 points from 8 matches, net run rate 0.036)
In order to go to the semis, England must not only be defeated in the last match, Pakistan has several calculations ahead of it. If New Zealand wins their match, Pakistan’s margin of victory should be quite large. New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by 1 run but Pakistan needs to win by 130 runs to cross the team’s net run rate.
Pakistan’s net run rate is much higher than Afghanistan’s. They don’t have to worry if they don’t win by a big margin. However, if New Zealand and Afghanistan lose their respective matches, a win against England by any margin will give Pakistan a ticket to the semis.
Afghanistan (8 points in 8 matches, net run rate -0.338)
Of the three teams, the Afghans have the toughest equation. Their net run rate is lower than the other two teams. That’s why there is no point in not winning the last match by a big margin. If New Zealand, Pakistan lose their matches, it is a different story. In that case, a win against South Africa will be enough for the Afghans.
But even if Pakistan win their match by 1 run, the Afghans need to win by at least 133 runs or in 25 overs against the Proteas. If New Zealand wins, it will be impossible for the Afghans to surpass their net run rate.