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Cricket World Cup 2019: Race to Semi-final explained

Updated: Aug 20, 2019

The most celebrated cricket-carnival of the world, ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, is underway in Britain. It has gone past the halfway stage. After a rain-affected first half of the cricket world cup where some teams got a free ride to the top and some struggled to find a balance, the world cup 2019 is pretty much poised at the moment.

New Zealand, England, Australia and India have shown great composure and are sitting at the top of the table. They have been very ruthless with their strategies plus, key players are chipping in constantly. On the other hand, teams like South Africa, Pakistan and West-Indies are yet to make a statement in the world cup 2019.

Let's understand it better

What does England's loss to Sri Lanka mean?

To some extent, Sri Lanka's 20-run win over England in the first leg may have added some spice to the world cup 2019 semi-final race but, there are certain barriers Sri Lanka have to surpass before they make it into the top four. England have their remaining games against tough opponents like Australia, New Zealand and India whereas Sri Lanka have to play against South Africa, West Indies and India.

If England lose all the games from here and Sri Lanka win all, than the latter have a chance to finish with 12 points and slip in with a chance.

Do bottom teams have a chance to make it to the top 4?

Apart from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan have odds in their favour. But, there is a catch, they have to face each other to settle the race. This also include winning all the remaining matches and hope England to win maximum one out of its remaining three games. Fortunately, on mathematical grounds they don't have to face Sri Lanka because if they had to they would have cut each-others point. So, they just have to keep an eye on each other campaign.

Pakistan have 3 points in 5 games and Bangladesh have 5 points in 6 games. They both can get 11 points at max.

Bangladesh is coming of a great reputation by defeating World Cup 2015's semifinalist South Africa and West Indies. They are a very good unit and capable of causing upset.

Any chance for South Africa?

They have to consider themselves lucky if they can make it to the top four or blame themselves if they don't. Winning all the three games will fetch them a maximum of 9 points. England already have 8 points and Sri Lanka have 6 points in their pocket with three games to go.

So, if England lose all its games, Sri Lanka get three points with one win and one tie match (9 Points), still, there is no guarantee they can make it to the semi-final. The only possibility for South Africa to qualify is, they finish with 9 points no matter what and pray teams hanging at 9 points don't have a better run-rate.

Who outside the current top four has the best chance?

Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan are the only teams who have a better possibility to finish with New Zealand, India and Australia. But don't forget, It's only possible when England lose all its games and, other teams finish with 9 points and a higher run-rate.

ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 is living up to the people's expectation with some nail-biting contests in the first half of the tournament, and we can expect some more as it's turning towards an interesting phase. Yesterday's games between India and Afghanistan and New Zealand and West Indies went down to the wire and were exactly the kind of games which the world cup needed at this stage.

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