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Group 1 scenarios - England close on top spot, Sri Lanka need results to go their way

Net run rate could play a part with Australia and South Africa best placed

S Rajesh
S Rajesh
England are almost through but Sri Lanka's qualification hopes are slim  •  Getty Images

England are almost through but Sri Lanka's qualification hopes are slim  •  Getty Images

England's 26-run win against Sri Lanka has pretty much confirmed not just their qualification, but also their topping of Group 1, while Sri Lanka are on the brink of elimination. Here is a look at where the teams stand with five matches left in the group.
Played: 4, Points: 8, NRR: 3.183, Remaining match: vs South Africa
Not only have England won all four matches, they have also done so convincingly, racking up a net run rate of 3.183. That means the two other teams who can reach eight points - South Africa and Australia - will need huge wins to get anywhere near England's mark. How huge, you ask? Here is a sample: if South Africa beat Bangladesh by 70 runs and England by 71 (after scoring 160 each time), they will sneak ahead of England. For Australia, the task is even more onerous: even if they win the last two games by a total margin of 140 runs, they will still need England to lose their last game by around 100. It's thus fairly safe to presume at this stage that England will top the group.
Sri Lanka
Played: 4, Points: 2, NRR: -0.590, Remaining match: vs West Indies
With only one match to go, four points is the maximum Sri Lanka can achieve. For that to suffice, they will have to hope that South Africa and Australia lose their two remaining matches, which will mean five teams finishing on four points each. A big win against West Indies will then lift their NRR - if they score 160 and win by 50 runs, it will improve to 0.047. If South Africa lose their last two, their NRR - currently 0.210 - can easily slip below Sri Lanka's. It might then be possible that Sri Lanka's NRR is the best among the five teams. However, if any one of those results don't go as Sri Lanka would want it to, they will be out.
South Africa
Played: 3, Points: 4, NRR: 0.210, Remaining matches: vs Bangladesh, England
South Africa have won two and lost one, and one of their remaining games is against the form team of their group. If they beat Bangladesh and lose to England, they will be at the mercy of other results as Australia can finish on eight points if they win their last two. Their NRR of 0.210 is significantly better than Australia's -0.627 and West Indies' -1.598, though, and that will help their cause should either or both of those teams finish on six points along with South Africa.
Played: 3, Points: 4, NRR: -0.627, Remaining matches: vs Bangladesh, West Indies
Australia's poor NRR could hurt them if it comes down to that factor against South Africa. Their best-case scenario is to win both their remaining games, and then hope that South Africa lose at least one. If Australia lose one, they would want South Africa to lose both and stay on four points.
West Indies
Played: 3, Points: 2, NRR: -1.598, Remaining matches: vs Sri Lanka, Australia
West Indies' NRR is the worst among the six teams in Group 1, so they will not want any scenarios where run rates come into play (unless they achieve huge wins in their last two games). Their best-case scenario would be if Australia and South Africa lost their two remaining matches and stayed on four points. Then, West Indies can qualify with six points if they win their two remaining matches.
Played: 3, Points: 0, NRR: -1.069, Remaining matches: vs South Africa, Australia
As mentioned earlier, it is possible for five teams to finish on four points each. Bangladesh's problem, though, is also their poor NRR, which they will have to lift to have any chance of fighting for the second spot in the group.

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. @rajeshstats