The ICC couldn’t have scripted it better.
Eight matches played in the T20 World Cup so far, with four more games to go in the Group A and B phase of the tournament, and all eight teams have a chance of moving through to the Super 12 phase still.
Namibia upsetting Sri Lanka, and Scotland beating the West Indies means that it all comes down to the next 36 hours. Will recent Asia Cup winners Sri Lanka crash out of the T20 World Cup 2022 early, or can they salvage their campaign? Do two-time champions have a big win in them, or will they also be on a plane home tomorrow?
We break down all of the different qualifying scenarios that will determine who moves through to the Super 12 phase from Groups A and B over the next two days.
Before getting into the various qualifying scenarios, a quick refresher of how the T20 World Cup 2022 is structured this year.
The tournament has two main phases—Group A and B, and Group 1 and 2. In essence, Group A and B is qualifying, while Group 1 and 2 is the Super 12.
Eight teams have already qualified for the Super 12 phase of the tournament—Australia, New Zealand, England, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, South Africa and Bangladesh—and get the first week of the T20 World Cup 2022 off. Another eight sides compete in the qualifying phase of the tournament, happening this week, to determine which four teams will be joining the eight already qualified sides in the Super 12.
These eight teams fighting for qualification are split into two groups—Group A and B—and then play each other once each. The top two teams from each group qualify, with two points given for a win, one point for a draw or no result, and teams scored on net run rate as well.
Eight games have been played over the last four days across Groups A and B, and four games remain.
Here’s how the standings look currently:
Importantly over the last four days, in Group A, Namibia have beaten heavyweights Sri Lanka, and lost to the Netherlands. In Group B, the West Indies lost to Scotland and beat Zimbabwe, while Ireland lost to Zimbabwe and beat Scotland, leaving all teams on one win each.
With two games remaining in each group, all sides have a mathematical chance of qualifying in the top two still.
Today will determine the fate of the four sides in Group A, with the following two matches playing out:
Here’s what needs to happen in these games for each side to qualify for the Super 12 phase.
Despite their poor start to the tournament, Sri Lanka have their fate in their hands today.
Win against the Netherlands, and they will be guaranteed to move through to the Super 12 phase of the competition. Lose, and they will be holding their breath, with their chances of qualification becoming incredibly slim.
If Sri Lanka loses, they would then rely on UAE upsetting Namibia by a big enough margin that Sri Lanka overtake Namibia on net run rate, but not big enough that UAE overtake Sri Lanka.
The harsh reality of such a brief qualifying phase of the T20 World Cup 2022, is that despite the Netherlands sitting on two wins from two games, they are still in a vulnerable position.
They head into their match against Sri Lanka today needing a win, with a loss putting them in fragile territory.
Win, and they are assured qualification in top spot. Lose, and they will be praying for the UAE to upset Namibia.
Namibia head into today’s match in a surprisingly good position
If Sri Lanka win, they will need to beat the UAE by any margin in order to go ahead of the Netherlands. Depending on how much Sri Lanka win by, Namibia also have a good chance of topping the group with a win.
If the Netherlands win, Namibia head into this match almost assured of qualification, providing they do not lose to the UAE by a heavy margin (too heavy of a loss would see UAE overtake them on net run rate).
The UAE are looking least likely to qualify from Group A.
If Sri Lanka win, then UAE will be unable to qualify even before the start of their match.
However, if the Netherlands win, then the UAE will require a big win over Namibia in order to shift the net run rates significantly enough to go ahead of both Sri Lanka and Namibia on net run rate.
Based on these different scenarios, here’s how we think things will play out in Group A today:
These results will likely see Namibia qualify first in the group, and Sri Lanka seal the second qualifying spot, with the Netherlands winning two of their three matches but missing out on net run rate.
Prediction: Namibia and Sri Lanka to qualify from Group A.
Both remaining games in Group B will play out tomorrow, which will determine the fate of the four sides in the group. Here are the two matches that remain to be played in Group B:
The nuances in Group B are far less, given that all sides sit on two points with a win and a loss each. However, with weather a factor, there is an outside chance that qualifying scenarios won’t be quite as straight forward.
Win, and they’re in. Lose, and they’re out.
This is the situation for the West Indies, unless weather comes into play.
If Zimbabwe vs. Scotland is washed out, then the West Indies would still need a win to qualify. However, if their own match tomorrow is washed out, then the West Indies would claim second place in the pool, as they sit slightly ahead of Ireland on net run rate at the moment.
Ireland also head into this match in a must win situation, and will be praying that weather doesn’t interfere with any of the matches.
If Ireland defeat the West Indies, they will likely claim second place in the pool. However, if they lose, they’re out, and if their match is washed out, they will also fail to qualify.
Scotland sit top of the table currently, with the best net run rate out of all the sides.
This means that if they win, they qualify, or if their match against Zimbabwe is washed out, they will qualify. If all matches in Group B are washed out tomorrow, they will qualify top of the group.
However, should Scotland lose, then they will be knocked out.
Zimbabwe also head into this match in a good position.
Win, and they qualify, likely top of the group. Lose, and they will be knocked out.
However, if one or both of the matches are washed out tomorrow, then Zimbabwe will make it through to the Super 12 phase.
Based on these different scenarios, here’s how we think things will play out in Group B tomorrow:
These results will likely see Zimbabwe qualify first in the group, with the West Indies claiming the second place. Both teams that move through will have two wins and a loss, while both teams that fail to qualify will have two losses and a win.
Prediction: Zimbabwe and the West Indies to qualify from Group B.