The four-week group stage of the World Cup is almost over, but with only two matches left, a couple of spots are still up for grabs in Pool B. Pakistan, Ireland, and West Indies are in contention to take the last two places in the group. If Cyclone Pam arrives earlier than expected and washes out West Indies' last match, against UAE, then Pakistan and Ireland will sail through regardless of the result of that match. If however, West Indies win that game, things will get more interesting in the group. Here's what the teams need to do to go through to the quarter-finals:
Currently on 6 points, NRR -0.194
Pakistan are the best placed of the three teams, as they already have six points, and the best net run rate among the three. If they win, they are through as the third-placed team in the group and will play Australia in Adelaide; if they lose and if West Indies win, the team with the better NRR will make the next stage as the fourth team, and will play New Zealand in Wellington.
The result margins that will work for Pakistan
Given that Pakistan's current NRR is -0.194, and West Indies' is -0.511, Pakistan have some margins to play with, even if they lose and West Indies win.
If for instance, West Indies score 300 against UAE and win by 50 runs, Pakistan, chasing Ireland's 300, will need to score at least 274 to ensure their NRR stays ahead of West Indies'.
If West Indies chase a target of 251 in 40, Pakistan, after scoring 250, will have to ensure that Ireland take at least 46 overs to chase it down.
However, if West Indies win by an even bigger margin - around 75 or more runs when batting first, or with around 81 balls to spare when batting second (depending on the actual scores) - then their NRR will improve to such an extent that Pakistan will need a win or a tie.
Currently on 4 points, NRR -0.511
To begin with, West Indies need to beat UAE to have any chance of qualifying. A win will lift them to six points, and if Pakistan beat Ireland, West Indies will qualify as the fourth team regardless of the result margins, as Ireland's NRR is well below West Indies'. If Ireland beat Pakistan, though, the result margins will come into play.
The result margins that will work for West Indies
If West Indies score 300 and win by 50 runs, and Ireland score 300 batting first, West Indies will have to hope that Pakistan fold for 273 or fewer, so that their NRR slips below West Indies'. Similarly, if West Indies chase down a target of 251 in 40, they'll want Ireland to chase a similar target in 45.5 or fewer overs.
If West Indies win by an even bigger margin - around 75 or more runs when batting first, or by around 81 balls to spare when batting second (depending on the actual scores) - then their NRR will improve to such an extent that an Ireland win by any margin will suffice to push Pakistan out.
Currently on 6 points, NRR -1.014
Ireland have done superbly to win three games, but their problem is their poor net run rate, which is by far the worst among the three. That means they need to beat Pakistan, or hope that West Indies don't get two points from their game against UAE. If West Indies beat UAE and Ireland lose to Pakistan - by any margin - Pakistan and West Indies will make it through to the next stage.