State of Play in Group 1: England win to set up fascinating qualification tussle

T20 World Cup

By Tom Bennett

Hit For Six!

England’s crucial win over New Zealand on Tuesday kept their semi-final qualification hopes alive and tees up a fascinating final round of matches where net run rate could be crucial.

Three teams (New Zealand, England and Australia) are now tied on five points, each with one match to play and only separated on Net RR in that order.

No one team is yet confirmed as through to the semi-finals. We take a look at the state of play as things stand.

Video Match Highlights 01 Nov 22
England see off New Zealand and keep semi-final hopes alive | Match Highlights | T20WC 2022
Match highlights of England holding off New Zealand for a 20-run victory that kept their hopes of making the semi-finals of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022 alive.

Who’s in the driving seat to reach the semi-finals?

New Zealand have the edge over their qualification rivals at the top of the group thanks to their excellent net run rate of +2.233, which was set up by that 89-run hammering of Australia in their opening game.

That Net RR is almost as good as a point for the Black Caps, meaning it is very much advantage New Zealand in the qualification race.

The Kiwis would need to lose to Ireland in their final match and by a significant margin to give Australia and England the opportunity to deny them a top-two spot.

Video T20 World Cup 01 Nov 22
Sri Lanka keep semi-final hopes alive | Digital Daily: Episode 32 | T20WC 2022
Digital Daily: Episode 32 | Sri Lanka keep semi-final hopes alive against Afghanistan | T20WC 2022

The Net Run Rate equation

If all three of New Zealand, England and Australia win their final matches then it will come down to Net RR.

Australia’s -0.304 puts them on the back foot in that column, but Aaron Finch’s side play a day before England, so can lay down a marker and put the pressure on if they manage a large margin of victory over Afghanistan on Friday.

Playing the following day means England will know exactly what they require to qualify when they face Sri Lanka on Saturday.

Should Australia fail to catch England (+0.547) and New Zealand (+2.233) on run rate then both of those sides will know that victory by any margin in their respective final matches will send them into the semi-finals.

Video T20 World Cup 22 Oct 22
New Zealand avenge 2021 final loss to Australia | Digital Daily: Episode 13 | T20WC 2022

The rest of the group

Ireland are mathematically still in with a chance, but it is the slimmest of opportunities, with the Irish needing a huge margin of win and then two other results to go their way to finish in the top two. The big aim for Andrew Balbirnie’s side will be to finish in the top four and seal an automatic qualification spot for the next ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

Video Match Highlights 01 Nov 22
All-round Sri Lanka too good for bright Afghanistan | Match Highlights | T20WC 2022
Match highlights of Sri Lanka seeing off Afghanistan by six wickets to secure an important victory in their ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022 clash.

Sri Lanka could yet qualify. A win over England in the last game of the group would see them into the semi-finals should one of New Zealand or Australia have lost the day before.

Afghanistan are the first team to be mathematically denied a semi-final spot, with their loss to Sri Lanka leaving them on just two points from four games.

The Remaining Fixtures

Ireland v New Zealand – Friday 04 November, Adelaide Oval

New Zealand can effectively seal a semi-final spot with a win over Ireland in the first of the final round of matches.

A sizeable margin of victory would make things absolutely safe, leaving Australia needing a miracle to overhaul the Black Caps on Net Run Rate.

Another shock result for the Irish would give Australia, England and Sri Lanka a chance to snatch the qualification spots.

Video T20 World Cup 26 Oct 22
Ireland shock England | Digital Daily: Episode 20 | T20WC 2022

Australia v Afghanistan – Friday 04 November, Adelaide Oval

The second match on Friday in Adelaide will see Australia look to make a huge splash against Afghanistan.

If they’ve just watched New Zealand beat Ireland then the tournament hosts will come out all guns blazing to try and gain a big raise in Net RR.

Video T20 World Cup 01 Nov 22
Mujeeb snares Nissanka with unreadable ripper | T20WC 2022
Mujeeb Ur Rehman snares Pathum Nissanka with a brilliant delivery that confounded the batter during Afghanistan v Sri Lanka in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022.

Sri Lanka v England – Saturday 05 November, SCG, Sydney

England will go into the final game of Group 1 knowing exactly what they require to qualify for the semi-finals. That could be solely a win, or it could be a win by a certain margin depending on Net RR.

Sri Lanka’s qualification hopes will still be alive if either Australia or New Zealand have dropped points in their matches.


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