ICC World T20 | Who will qualify from Group 1 ft. New Zealand, England, Australia

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In the ongoing T20 World Cup, England’s recent 20-run victory over Group 1 leaders New Zealand has led to the unfolding of a plethora of qualification probabilities. Let us have a detailed explanation of what needs to be done by the teams in order to qualify.

Ahead of the ongoing T20 World Cup, ardent cricket fans and experts considered Group 1 tougher than Group 2 in the Super 12 stage. The logic behind their thinking was that all of the reigning champions and hosts Australia, swashbuckling England, high-flying New Zealand, and current Asian champions Sri Lanka would fight for just two places in the semi-finals along with Ireland and Afghanistan. As things stand, the group has not failed to live up to the expectations either, considering the fact that five of them still have a mathematical chance to advance to the knockouts.

Although the rain has forced all except Sri Lanka to share five points from three fixtures, Group 1 is still nicely poised with New Zealand sitting at the top with five points. England and Australia have the same points tally as New Zealand as well, but the Kiwis boast of having a significantly better net run rate (+2.233) compared to the other two (England’s +0.547 and Australia’s -0.304). The trio is followed by Sri Lanka and Ireland, who have four and three points respectively. Meanwhile, Afghanistan, languishing at the bottom with two points, have already been eliminated from the tournament.

New Zealand’s qualification scenarios

With thumping wins over Australia and Sri Lanka by 89 and 65 runs respectively, the Black Caps have boosted their net run rate remarkably. Their only defeat – by 20 runs – came against England on Tuesday, and the small margin allowed them to remain at the top despite the setback. If they beat Ireland in the last group fixture in Adelaide, the Kiwis, in all likelihood, will finish as the Group 1 leaders.

However, if Ireland manage to beat New Zealand, things will get interesting henceforth. As the last round of Group 1 will begin with the Ireland fixture against the Black Caps, the Kiwis will then hope that Australia lose against Afghanistan in the following game. Unless they lose to Ireland by a huge margin, an Australian defeat will allow them to enter the semi-finals along with the winners of the England versus Sri Lanka encounter.

England’s qualification scenarios

England’s NRR of +0.547 is ahead of Australia (-0.304), but far behind New Zealand (+2.233). However, they have the advantage of playing the last Group 1 game against Sri Lanka, which means they will know exactly what they need to achieve to advance to the knockout stage. But first and foremost, they must beat Sri Lanka to stay in the hunt. If they win, and one of New Zealand and Australia lose, a place in the semi-finals for them is guaranteed. Not to forget, even if Australia win against Afghanistan, they must do so by a significant margin to topple England in terms of NRR.

Now if England endure a defeat, they will be eliminated from the tournament regardless of Australia and New Zealand's results. In that scenario, New Zealand will have a qualification berth ensured due to a superior net run rate along with Sri Lanka, who will top the Group with six points.

Australia’s qualification scenarios

Australia’s NRR suffered a heavy blow in the opening round with the 89-run defeat against New Zealand. They now need to beat Afghanistan first and then expect either New Zealand or England to lose in their respective fixtures. If that happens, the Kangaroos will guarantee a qualification berth without worrying about the NRR.

However, the Aussies won’t know anything about England’s game as the latter are playing the last Group 1 contest against Sri Lanka. Hence, the defending champions have to secure a big-margin victory in order to go ahead of England on NRR if the Europeans do manage to win. In other words, Australia must hope that their arch-rivals England do not register a comfortable victory over Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka’s qualification scenarios

Sri Lanka, the only team from Group 1 with an even number of points, have their work cut out with beating England a necessity to qualify. However, they will play the last game, which means they will know whether New Zealand or Australia have lost prior to their match. If that happens, a victory over England will be enough to cement their place in the knockouts.

Ireland’s qualification scenarios

A victory over New Zealand will help Ireland finish with five points but their dismal net run rate (-1.544) realistically won’t allow them to go any beyond. The outside chance they have will depend on how big their triumph will be against New Zealand, alongside the hope that Australia lose against Afghanistan. The England-Sri Lanka encounter will be a no-factor for the Irish since the winner of the fixture will anyway end up with higher points. The situation is complex, but Ireland can still dare to dream.

Afghanistan’s qualification scenarios

With two losses and two washed-out games, Afghanistan are at the bottom of Group 1 with two points. Unfortunately, they have been mathematically knocked out of the tournament, and will now be keen to finish things off on a high by beating Australia and in the process help the others in their bid to make it to the semi-finals.

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