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October 1, 2012
The semi-finalists from Group 1 have been decided, but three out of four teams in Group 2 still have a chance to make the cut, going into the final round of matches on Tuesday. Here's what each team needs to do to qualify:
Preview : India, SA need win and a bit of luck
Report : New Zealand knocked out after Super Over
Matches: India v South Africa at Colombo (RPS) | Australia v Pakistan at Colombo (RPS) | Sri Lanka v England at Pallekele | New Zealand v West Indies at Pallekele
Series/Tournaments: ICC World Twenty20
Like Pakistan, India too need to win to have any realistic chance of qualification. If India concede 160 and lose by more than three runs, their NRR will slip below that of South Africa. If India and Pakistan both win their matches, the margins of those results will decide which team goes through.
Update after Australia-Pakistan match: India need to beat South Africa by at least 32 runs if they score 160 (and by at least 31 if they score 140) to finish with an NRR higher than Pakistan's. If India end up chasing, they need to win with at least 24 balls to spare. If they achieve that, they'll knock Pakistan out, and the actual margin of victory will determine which of India or Australia finish on top. If they don't achieve those margins, Pakistan will qualify.
Pakistan's defeat to India - and the margin of that loss - has put their semi-final hopes in danger. Their NRR has dropped to -0.426, which is only marginally better than those of India and South Africa. If Pakistan lose to Australia, an Indian win will knock them out without NRR playing any part. Even if South Africa beat India in this scenario, Pakistan's chances remain bleak: if they lose their match by five runs (chasing 161), and if South Africa score 160 and beat India by the same margin, then Pakistan's NRR will be poorer than South Africa's.
Pakistan's passage is not straightforward even if they beat Australia. Even after winning, they'll have to hope that India don't beat South Africa by a bigger margin and sneak past them. If, for example, both Pakistan and India score 160 and win their last matches by ten runs, then Pakistan's NRR will be marginally lower than India's.
Update after Australia-Pakistan match: Pakistan finish with an NRR of 0.273. If India lose to South Africa, or if they beat them by relatively small margins (explained above), then Pakistan will go through as the second team in the group.
With two huge wins in as many matches, Australia are the best-placed team in the tournament. For them to go out, both Pakistan and India will have to win their matches by around 40 runs (if they bat first and score 160).
Update after Australia-Pakistan match: Though Australia lost to Pakistan, their NRR of 0.464 is higher than that of Pakistan, which means at worst they will finish second in the group. They are thus definitely through to the semi-finals.
South Africa are the only team that can be knocked out even before their match starts. For the second time in a row, they will be hoping Pakistan lose because if Pakistan win the first match on Tuesday, it will mean curtains for South Africa.
However, if Australia do beat Pakistan, South Africa have a fair chance of making it to the next round, thanks to poor NRRs of India and Pakistan. As mentioned above, if South Africa score 160 and win by more than three runs, their NRR will go above India's, enough to qualify provided Australia have won all their matches. The advantage for South Africa and India is that they play the last game of the group, and will thus have an exact knowledge of what they need to do to qualify.
Update after Australia-Pakistan match: South Africa are out of contention for a semi-final slot.
With two wins in two matches, Sri Lanka are sitting pretty: not only do they have four points, their net run rate is also a comfortable 1.029. The only way for them to be eliminated is if they lose to England, and if West Indies beat New Zealand, with both matches being decided by big margins. For example, if England score 160 and beat Sri Lanka by 30 runs, and if West Indies score 160 and beat New Zealand by the same margin, then England and West Indies will qualify with better NRRs than Sri Lanka. However, the likelihood of both margins being such large ones is extremely small.
Updated after the WI-NZ match: Sri Lanka are through unless they lose very badly. If England score 170 and bowl Sri Lanka out for 110, then Sri Lanka's NRR will drop below both England and West Indies. Most likely, though, they've booked a place in the last four.
England's defeat against West Indies pegged them back, but they recovered well to beat New Zealand, and their NRR is the best among all teams after Sri Lanka. A victory against Sri Lanka, and a win for New Zealand against West Indies, will definitely see England through. However, if West Indies win, England will have to make sure they beat Sri Lanka by a sufficient margin to ensure their NRR is above that of West Indies.
On the other hand, if England lose and if New Zealand beat West Indies, then three teams will be level on two points. In that scenario, New Zealand will almost certainly sneak ahead of England on NRR: for example, even if New Zealand score 160 and win by five runs, and England, chasing 160, lose by five, New Zealand's NRR will be higher.
England's advantage is that they'll be playing the last match of the group, which will give them an exact knowledge of what they need to do to qualify.
Updated after the WI-NZ match: England need to win to qualify, as their NRR is already better than that of West Indies. If they lose, they're out.
The ideal result for West Indies will be for them to beat New Zealand, and for Sri Lanka to beat England, which will ensure West Indies qualify without run rates coming into play. A defeat will definitely knock West Indies out because of their poor NRR, but even a win may not be enough if England beat Sri Lanka. For instance, if West Indies score 160 and win by 25 runs, England will need to win their match by only eight runs to keep their NRR above West Indies'.
Updated after the WI-NZ match: West Indies need England to lose, or to beat Sri Lanka by around 60 runs. If England win by a smaller margin, then West Indies will be knocked out.
New Zealand are currently at the bottom of the group, but their NRR is a decent -0.268, thanks to their Super Over defeat against Sri Lanka. As mentioned earlier, if they beat West Indies by as little as five runs, and if Sri Lanka beat England by the same margin (with the winning teams in each game scoring 160), then New Zealand's NRR will be better than those of England and West Indies. Thus, even though New Zealand haven't won a match yet in the Super Eights, they have plenty to play for in their last game.
Updated after the WI-NZ match: With three losses in the Super Eights, New Zealand have been knocked out.
S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on TwitterFeeds: S Rajesh
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Plays of the day from the fourth ODI between Australia and South Africa at the MCG