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ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 scenarios – What are New Zealand semi-final chances looking like after three losses?


ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 scenarios – What are New Zealand semi-final chances looking like after three losses?

With 13 matches to go in the league stage of World Cup 2023, here is how the teams stack up in the race to the semi-finals.

Played: 6, Pts: 12, NRR: 1.405
Remaining matches: vs SL, SA, Neth

With 12 points already in the bag and three games still to come, India are almost through to the semi-finals. Another win will confirm qualification, but even if they lose all three, Afghanistan will have to win their three remaining games, while New Zealand and Australia will have to win two each. If those three teams have higher net run rates than India, then they, along with South Africa, can qualify ahead of India.

South Africa
Played: 7, Pts: 12, NRR: 2.290
Remaining matches: vs Ind, Afg

South Africa have as many points as India but have played one extra game. Two more points will confirm qualification, but even with 12, their exceptional NRR should keep them safe.

Played: 6, Pts: 8, NRR: 0.970
Remaining matches: vs Eng, Afg, Ban

After a slow start, Australia have come into their own with four wins on the trot. Three more wins will confirm the qualification, but two will also do if one of those comes against Afghanistan. Given that they also play Bangladesh, who are already out of the tournament, Australia are favourites to qualify.

New Zealand
Played: 7, Pts: 8, NRR: 0.484
Remaining matches: vs Pak, SL

New Zealand won four games at the start but lost their next three matches. The huge loss to South Africa has also brought their NRR crashing down, while the numerous injuries are doing their chances no favours.

If they win their last two and finish on 12, New Zealand will still have an excellent chance of qualifying, but a defeat on Saturday against Pakistan will put both the teams on eight points each from as many games, while a defeat by 84 or more runs (in a chase of 301) will push them below Pakistan on NRR. Afghanistan will get to eight too if they beat Netherlands on Friday, while Sri Lanka might also be in the mix.

All of this means the next ten days will be crucial for all these teams. New Zealand’s last game is against Sri Lanka, and even if they win that one after losing to Pakistan, it could still come down to net run rates.

Played: 6, Pts: 6, NRR: -0.718
Remaining matches: vs Neth, Aus, SA

Afghanistan are the only team other than those in the top four that can still get to 12 points. However, two of their three remaining games are against Australia (in Mumbai) and South Africa (in Ahmedabad). Two wins in those three matches will keep them in the mix if the top four teams don’t all get to 12 points. A win on Friday against Netherlands will take them level with New Zealand on points, but they will also need to win by a significant margin to improve their net run rate, which is currently a poor -0.718.

Played: 7, Pts: 6, NRR: -0.024
Remaining matches: vs NZ, Eng

New Zealand’s walloping by South Africa has opened up the points table, and one of the teams that could benefit is Pakistan. They are now only one win behind New Zealand, and a victory against them on Saturday will mean both teams are level on eight points from eight games. Pakistan’s last match will be at Eden Gardens against bottom-of-the-table England. Depending on other results, Pakistan’s qualification chances could hinge on that result.

If Pakistan lose on Saturday, their chances will hang by a thread: Australia will have to lose all their matches and stay on eight, while other results involving Afghanistan and Sri Lanka will have to go in Pakistan’s favour as well.

Sri Lanka
Played: 6, Pts: 4, NRR: -0.275
Remaining matches: vs Ind, Ban, NZ

If Sri Lanka win their three remaining games, they will finish on 10, but even then they will need other results to go their way. A defeat against India will mean they can end up with a maximum of eight points. For them to still be in contention, several other results will have to work in their favour, but it’s still possible for multiple up to seven teams to finish on eight points, fighting for two slots.

Played: 6, Pts: 4, NRR: -1.277
Remaining matches: vs Afg, Eng, Ind

Netherlands have the same points tally as Sri Lanka, but their NRR is much poorer. Wins in all their remaining games will give them a chance, but eight points is unlikely to cut it for them.

Played: 6, Pts: 2, NRR: -1.652
Remaining matches: vs Aus, Neth, Pak

England could still finish on eight points if they win their remaining games, and join the melee if several other results align, but with a net run rate that currently stands at -1.652, their best bet will be to try to make it to the top seven and qualify for Champions Trophy 2025.

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. @rajeshstats

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