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State of Play in Qualifier Play-off: Pivotal places still up for grabs

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The USA, UAE, Canada, Namibia and Jersey could each still secure a critical top-two spot in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 Qualifier Play-off with just a pair of match-days to come.

The top two teams in the final standings will progress to the next stage Qualifier to be held in Zimbabwe in June and July, with both spots still up for grabs with just four matches to play in the current tournament.

The Qualifier Play-off final standings will be decided by the number of points each team earns, with two points awarded for a win; and one point given to each team where there is a tie, no result or abandoned match.

Where teams finish equal on points, the order of their placing in the final standings will be determined in the following order:

  1. The team with the most wins
  2. If still equal, the team with the most wins over the other team(s) that are equal on points and have the same number of wins
  3. If still equal, the team with the highest net run rate
  4. If still equal, the teams will be ordered as per their original seeding

With much still to be decided across the remaining four ODIs, we take a look at the current state of play for each team at the Qualifier Play-off:

Wins: 3 (Namibia, United Arab Emirates, Papua New Guinea)
Net run-rate: +0.888
Still to play: Jersey (April 4)

The USA put themselves in pole position with back-to-back victories over the UAE and PNG, but still need to beat Jersey in their last ODI to be sure of holding onto a top-two position.

The current Qualifier Play-off leaders have already secured wins against fellow top-two hopefuls Namibia and the UAE, which could prove critical for the USA where teams finish level on points.

The early loss to Canada is still a concern though with the potential for the North America neighbours to also finish level on points and edge ahead of the USA on the head-to-head result.

The USA do however currently have the best net run rate in the tournament, leaving them in a strong position to progress to the Qualifier whether the final standings are decided on points, head-to-head results or NRR.

**Likelihood of progress:**High

USA brush aside PNG | Match Highlights

Wins: 3 (Papua New Guinea, Canada, Namibia)
Net run-rate: +0.241
Still to play: Jersey (April 5)

The UAE are in much the same position as the USA, having secured a pair of wins after dropping their second match of the Qualifier Play-off, and like the leaders have only a clash with Jersey to come.

While the UAE are well-placed to progress to the Qualifier with victories over Canada and Namibia that might be important in head-to-head calculations, they could still rue their five-wicket loss to the USA as it gets tight at the top.

Locking in the two points will be the first priority against Jersey but the UAE will also want to improve their net run rate to nudge in front of Canada and further ahead of Namibia in that potentially pivotal measurement.

**Likelihood of progress:**Good

UAE hold off Namibia | Match Highlights

Wins: 2 (Jersey, USA)
Net run-rate: +0.345
Still to play: Namibia (April 4), Papua New Guinea (April 5)

One of a pair of teams still to play two matches at the Qualifier Play-off, the tournament surprise packets have their hopes of progressing to the next stage in their own hands.

A fast start including a rousing triumph over the USA propelled Canada into being genuine contenders for a spot in the Qualifier, and that victory over their rivals could be crucial in the head-to-head considerations.

Commanding wins over hosts Namibia and out of form PNG stand as Canada’s clearest path to an unlikely place in the Zimbabwe tournament, especially if they can further boost their net run rate to finish ahead of the UAE in that calculation.

**Likelihood of progress:**Good

Canada defend low total to stun USA | Match highlights

Wins: 2 (Papua New Guinea, Jersey)
Net run-rate: +0.198
Still to play: Canada (April 4)

The tournament hosts have underwhelmed while splitting their four matches into two wins and two losses, and now have their hopes of progressing to the Qualifier hanging by a thread.

Namibia’s victories have come against the two teams below them, while they lost both of their matches against the current top-two in the USA and UAE to leave them precariously placed in the head-to-head match-ups.

A comprehensive triumph over Canada that earns two essential points and boosts Namibia’s run rate will help their cause, but they will still need other results to go their way to at least finish level on points with the other Qualifier hopefuls.

**Likelihood of progress:**Low

Wins: 1 (Papua New Guinea)
Net run-rate: -0.814
Still to play: USA (April 4), United Arab Emirates (April 5)

The ODI debutants secured a historic breakthrough victory when defeating PNG by 11 runs in their last Qualifier Play-off match that also keeps their dreams of a shock top-two finish alive.

The youthful Jersey line-up need to beat the current top-two in the USA and UAE to have any chance of progressing, but if they pull it off will certainly be worthy of their spot in the next stage Qualifier.

Jersey will also have one eye on chasing down the UAE and Canada to snatch a CWC League 2 spot for the next cycle, while they are already assured of finishing above PNG in the Qualifier Play-off standings and the secondary event within the event.

**Likelihood of progress:**Low

Jersey claim first ODI victory | Match Highlights

Wins: 0
Net run-rate: -0.985
Still to play: Canada (April 5)

PNG have disappointed at the Qualifier Play-off with four losses including a 117-run thumping in their most recent match against the USA.

The demoralising streak means PNG are already out of the running for a place in the Qualifier event, and will also lose their CWC League 2 spot and ODI status in the next cycle.

This comes as PNG are one of four teams - as one of the bottom two League 2 teams along with the UAE, and each of the Challenge League winners in Canada and Jersey - to be competing during this Qualifier Play-off for two places in the next League 2 tournament.

But with the UAE and Canada already out of reach on four points, and Jersey on two points after winning the Qualifier Play-off clash between the teams, PNG have only pride to play for in their last match.

**Likelihood of progress:**None

The Cricket World Cup****Qualifier Play-off will be available on Fancode in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan; and on Willow TV in the USA.

Fans in ALL other regions can watch the Qualifier Play-off live and FREE on on:

* website
* mobile apps (available in the App Store and Google Play)
* Samsung TV and LG TV apps

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