With the shock losses in the past few days for England and New Zealand, suddenly Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and even the West Indies have a chance of making the semi-finals.
Only Australia is guaranteed to play in the last four at this moment in time, though India and New Zealand are in great positions to qualify also. England’s position is in serious threat with sides breathing down their neck.
Let’s dissect the remaining matches and their chances of making the semi-finals.
1st: Australia (12 points)
Played: 7 | Won: 6 | Lost: 1 | NR: 0 | NRR: 0.906
June 29: v New Zealand at Lord’s
July 6: v South Africa at Old Trafford
Australia are the only nation with a semi-final spot already secure, and may now use their final two matches as an opportunity to experiment with their side. Maintaining momentum heading into the last four may also weigh heavily on the five times champion’s minds. A victory over New Zealand on Saturday would be a massive mental boost for a potential knock-out showdown in the not too distant future.
2nd: New Zealand (11 points)
Played: 7 | Won: 5 | Lost: 1 | NR: 1 | NRR 1.028
June 29: v Australia at Lord’s
July 3: v England at the Riverside Ground
The previously unbeaten Black Caps are all but locked in the knockout stage and only need to bank a single point from their remaining two matches to ensure themselves of their spot. After the Pakistan clash, the Kiwis will look to lay down a warning to the competition that their stumble was a one-off with a win over Australia ahead of a possible rematch in the semi-finals. They will then finish the group stage with what could be a must-win match for their opponent, England. Some big games ahead for New Zealand.
3rd: India (9 points)
Played: 5 | Won: 4 | Lost: 0 | NR: 1 | NRR 0.809
June 27: v West Indies at Old Trafford
June 30: v England at Edgbaston
July 2: v Bangladesh at Edgbaston
July 6: v Sri Lanka at Headingley
Having survived an upset scare against Afghanistan, India will be undoubtedly favourites in three of their remaining four matches. Based on recent form, you would also be safe to assume that India will be favoured when they take on England at Edgbaston too. Only two more victories will guarantee a semi-final spot for the 2011 champions, but it won’t be easy against teams who are all trying to keep their World Cup hopes alive.
4th: England (8 points)
Played: 7 | Won: 4 | Lost: 3 | NR: 0 | NRR 1.051
June 30: v India at Edgbaston
July 3: v New Zealand at the Riverside Ground
After two losses in the space of just four days, the hosts are now in serious danger of missing out on the semi-finals in a tournament many expected them to dominate. After their shock defeat to Sri Lanka, they faced the daunting task of taking on the three sides above them, Australia, New Zealand and the undefeated India. After another loss against Australia, England can’t stumble again against India on Sunday, otherwise, they will have to win their final match against New Zealand.
5th: Bangladesh (7 points)
Played: 7 | Won: 3 | Lost: 3 | NR: 1 | NRR -0.133
July 2: v India at Edgbaston
July 5: v Pakistan at Lord’s
Led by Shakib Al Hassan, Bangladesh have been impressive so far in this tournament, but their World Cup hopes hang in the balance and they will have to beat India on Tuesday to ensure themselves of a spot in the semi-finals. A loss there won’t be fatal to their hopes, but it will make their quest to qualify much harder. An upset win over India could well set-up a winner-takes-all battle against Pakistan on the penultimate day of the group stage, which could well provide the best crowd atmosphere of the tournament.
6th: Pakistan (7 points)
Played: 7 | Won: 3 | Lost: 3 | NR: 1 | NRR -1.265
June 29: v Afghanistan at Headingley
July 5: v Bangladesh at Lord’s
Famously unpredictable, Pakistan are suddenly right back in the hunt for a semi-finals berth with two games left. In fact, despite being one point behind England, and languishing in 6th spot, Pakistan have suddenly emerged as the favourites to seal the fourth spot. If England suffer a single defeat, you would assume Pakistan will defeat Afghanistan, leaving the mouth-watering must-win final match of the group stage.
7th: Sri Lanka (6 points)
Played: 6 | Won: 2 | Lost: 2 | NR: 2 | NRR -1.119
June 28: v South Africa at the Riverside Ground
July 1: v West Indies at the Riverside Ground
July 6: v India at Headingley
Despite only winning two games in their campaign so far, the lowly ranked Sri Lankan side have emerged as an unlikely nation to slide into the top four. Victories over the Windies and South Africa alone could well be enough to secure a semi-final spot, while winning all three of their games will see Sri Lanka play their first semi-final since making the final back in 2011. Although they may benefit from their washouts, in the event of a tie-breaker it will come back to haunt them, with the side with most wins progressing.
8th: West Indies (3 points)
Played: 6 | Won: 1 | Lost: 4 | NR: 1 | NRR 0.19
June 27: v India at Old Trafford
July 1: v Sri Lanka at the Riverside Ground
July 4: v Afghanistan at Headingley
A win over New Zealand on the weekend and suddenly the West Indies would have been a serious threat with games against Afghanistan and Sri Lanka remaining. The scenario is simple for Jason Holder’s men, win all three and they remain in with a mathematical chance. They will need Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka to only win a single match from here on out, though.
9th: South Africa (3 points)
Played: 7 | Won: 1 | Lost: 5 | NR: 1 | NRR -0.324
June 28: v Sri Lanka at the Riverside Ground
July 6: v Australia at Old Trafford
Their campaign was over before it even started. For a nation blessed with some very talented cricketers, there just is something about ICC tournaments that bring the worst out in them.
10th: Afghanistan (0 points)
Played: 7 | Won: 0 | Lost: 7 | NR: 0 | NRR -1.634
June 29: v Pakistan at Headingley
July 4: v West Indies at Headingley
Afghanistan have been playing for pride in recent matches, and it almost paid off with an unlikely upset win over India. With Pakistan and West Indies fighting for top four spots, Afghanistan are likely to finish the tournament on zero points.