T20 World Cup Group 1 scenarios: Which teams can make it to the semifinals?

England’s victory against New Zealand on Friday has opened up Group 1 of the T20 World Cup with 3 teams (England, New Zealand, Australia) at 5 points each while another (Sri Lanka) at 4 points. Any of these teams can still qualify for the semifinals if the permutations and combinations go their way. Here’s a closer look at the scenario of this group as we head to the business end of the Super 12 stage.

New Zealand

New Zealand are comfortably placed on top of the table but it’s still a precarious place to be in. The Kiwis are on 5 points but they have an edge over Australia and England due to their superior net run rate. The road to the semis should be fairly easy for them as they will be playing Ireland who have just won one match this tournament. However, the situation really gets interesting if the Kiwis lose to the Irish. They then have to hope that Australia loses to Afghanistan which will clear the Black Caps’ road into the semis with the winner of England vs Sri Lanka.


Hosts Australia are in a fix due to their poor run rate in this tournament. In order for them to qualify, they obviously need to defeat Afghanistan in their last match but even that might not be enough for them. If England and New Zealand also win their last game, there will be a 3-way tie with all the three teams stuck at 7 points. This is where the NRR will come into play. If that is the scenario, Australia need to win big against Afghanistan if they want to have a sniff at the semifinals. They would much rather hope that England or New Zealand lose their last match while they win in order to advance to the next stage without the NRR coming into play.


England are in a more comfortable position than Australia as they will be the last one to play in their group. The scenarios would be a lot less muddled when they take on Sri Lanka on Friday. They will know the results of the earlier matches and will know exactly what to do to stay ahead in the run rate. The closest to them in regards to run rate will be Australia and England will hope for a favourable outcome in that match before they take on the reigning Asia Cup champions. The difference in margin between the two Ashes rival will have to be roughly 50 runs for England to maintain their lead. But if they lose to Sri Lanka, they’ll be knocked out of the race any way and these calculations won’t even come into play.

Sri Lanka

There is no run rate calculation scenario for Sri Lanka to get to the semifinals. They need an outright win against England and they need one of Australia or New Zealand to lose their matches. In case of a washout, then also they will be eliminated. With their hopes of a semi final placement hanging by a thread, the Asian champions will be hoping for a miracle when Friday rolls in.

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