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Group 2 scenarios: India need Afghanistan to beat New Zealand

India have the advantage of playing the last Group 2 game, and will know the NRR calculations at play. But for that NZ need to first lose

S Rajesh
S Rajesh
India's thrashing of Scotland, with an unbelievable 81 balls to spare, means India are well and truly in the hunt for a top-two finish in the group. With three matches left in the group, three teams are still in contention for the second semi-final spot. Here is a look at how each team can make it.
Played: 4, Points: 4, NRR: 1.619, Remaining match: vs Namibia
In just two games, India's net run rate has leapt up from -1.069 to 1.619. They still need Afghanistan to beat New Zealand to stand a chance of qualifying, but if Afghanistan pull off that win, then India have an excellent chance of qualifying due to their run rate.
For example, if Afghanistan score 160 and beat New Zealand by 30 runs, then India need to defeat Namibia only by 21 runs to stay ahead on NRR. And given that they will play the last match of the group on Monday, they will know exactly what they need to do to qualify. If New Zealand win, though, then India will be knocked out.
Played: 4, Points: 4, NRR: 1.481, Remaining match: vs New Zealand
Afghanistan's qualifying chances have taken a beating with India's big wins in their last two games. As detailed above, even if they beat New Zealand by a healthy margin of 30 runs, India's target victory margin to stay ahead on NRR is a pretty modest one. Afghanistan will need a really big win to give themselves some sort of a chance: if they score 160 and win by 60, they will want India to win by no more than 48 runs. The problem for Afghanistan is that India play last in the group, which means they will go into that game knowing what is required.
Also, knowing that a win by any margin will probably not be enough, might also influence the way Afghanistan approach the game. Of course, their ideal scenario would be to beat New Zealand, and then for Namibia to pull off an upset to beat all upsets.
New Zealand
Played: 4, Points: 6, NRR: 1.277, Remaining match: vs Afghanistan
For New Zealand, net run rate isn't a concern. If they lose, their NRR will stay below that of Afghanistan, so they will be knocked out for sure. If they win, they will move to eight points, two clear of the six points that India can, at best, get to.
New Zealand will also have to deal with the challenge of playing three times in five days, at three different venues, while Afghanistan have played their last two in Abu Dhabi, which is also where they will play New Zealand.

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. @rajeshstats