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T20 World Cup 2024 scenarios: What do South Africa, England and West Indies need to make the semis?

Group 2 of the Super Eight stage is headed for a three-way race for the semi-final spots, with two matches to go

S Rajesh
S Rajesh
22-Jun-2024
Kagiso Rabada is pumped after getting rid of Liam Livingstone, England vs South Africa, T20 World Cup 2024, Super Eight, St Lucia, June 21, 2024

South Africa and England are both in contention for semi-final spots  •  ICC/Getty Images

With two games left in Group 2 of the T20 World Cup 2024 Super Eight stage, it's largely a three-way fight for the semi-final spots. USA aren't completely out of it, but they will need huge wins to be in the hunt. Here's a look at the qualification scenarios based on the result combinations in the two remaining matches: England vs USA, and West Indies vs South Africa.
If England and West Indies win
That will leave three teams - England, West Indies and South Africa - on four points each. West Indies' huge win against USA means they will finish with a higher net run rate than South Africa if they beat them by any margin on Sunday night. So West Indies will qualify for sure with a win, regardless of the England-USA result.
For England to go past South Africa's NRR, the sum of margins of the two results will have to be 10 runs (assuming first-innings totals of 160). That means, if England win by 10 runs, they will go ahead on run rate even if South Africa lose in the Super Over. If the margin of result is under 10, South Africa will stay ahead and qualify with four points.
If USA and South Africa win
South Africa will top the table with six points, while the other three teams will finish on two points each. If England lose in the Super Over chasing 160, West Indies will have to lose by 43 or more runs for their NRR to drop below that of England. If England lose by a bigger margin, West Indies will have more leeway, which means in such a scenario South Africa and West Indies are the likely semi-finalists.
USA's poor run rate means they'll need two huge results to stand any chance of finishing in the top two: they will first need to beat England by at least 56 runs (assuming a total of 160) to go past them on NRR, and then hope that West Indies lose by at least 91 runs for their run rate to drop below USA's.
If USA and West Indies win
In this case, West Indies and South Africa will qualify with four points, while England and USA will finish on two.
If England and South Africa win
South Africa, with six points, and England, with four, will be the semi-finalists.

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. @rajeshstats