How each team can make the 2023 World Cup semi-finals?
The World Cup 2023 has reached its business end, with all the teams trying everything to keep themselves alive in the tournament. While more than half of the tournament is over, most of the teams still have a chance, even if outside, to qualify for the knockout stages. However, the scenarios for some teams who have lost excessive games thus far are complicated.
In this section, we have a look at the ways teams can qualify for the semifinal.
India have won six games in the tournament so far and are almost there in the semifinal. Another victory will seal their place in the next round. All in all, the Men in Blue are sure to qualify for the next stage, and they will look to retain the top spot in the points table.
South Africa are another side that are sure to qualify for the semifinal. The Proteas are in the second position with five wins in six matches, and one more victory will seal their position for the next round. However, they should target at least two more wins to confirm their booking in the top two.
South Africa have three matches to go, but they have to face the teams like New Zealand and India. Even Afghanistan have played some top-class cricket and won’t be easy to beat. So, while they have started on a high, a few hiccups can damage their hard work so far.
New Zealand have played six matches and won four of them. However, the Kiwis still need two more victories to ensure their position in the semifinal. But they have some hard opponents to beat.
New Zealand have the matches against South Africa, Pakistan and Sri Lanka remaining. These are all formidable teams, especially the first two. Hence, they can miss out on the semifinal if they fail to win at least two more games.
After a slow start and two consecutive defeats, Australia have generated momentum nicely and won their last four matches. They now have four victories in six encounters but still require at least two more wins to qualify. And if they win all the remaining three matches, the five-time World Champions will make a case to end in the top two.
Their three opponents remaining are England, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. While these teams might not have been as consistent, Australia will have their task cut out as they look to win at least two more games. If they don’t win two more matches, Australia would want several other results to go their way.
Pakistan have won three of the seven matches, sitting in the fifth position in the points table. While they can’t reach 12 points now, Pakistan still have a chance to qualify for the semifinal. Firstly, they need to win the remaining two matches against New Zealand and England to get 10 points and also improve their net run rate.
Secondly, New Zealand and Australia should not win more than one of their three left matches. Pakistan would also want Afghanistan to win only one more at max, whereas Sri Lanka should also lose at least one to make the way for Pakistan. In such a scenario, Australia and New Zealand will reach 10 points, while Afghanistan and Sri Lanka will attain eight points each. Still, Pakistan would require a better run rate than New Zealand and Australia to get through.
Afghanistan are currently in the sixth position with three wins in six games. They have a realistic chance of qualifying for the next round if they win all the remaining games. Afghanistan will face the Netherlands, Australia and South Africa in those matches.
However, if they win only two matches, Afghanistan will hope one of New Zealand or Australia lose at least two of their games. And if Afghanistan win only one, they should hope for New Zealand or Australia to lose all their games, while Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Netherlands don’t win more than one.
Sri Lanka have played six matches, winning only two of them. But they can still go through if several results go their way. First of all, Sri Lanka should ensure victories in all their three games scheduled against India, Bangladesh and New Zealand.
Then, they will also want one of New Zealand or Australia to lose all their remaining three games. Afghanistan and Pakistan shouldn’t win more than one match, either. Moreover, the Netherlands and England should lose at least one more to keep Sri Lanka alive.
The Netherlands have played six matches and won two so far. For them to qualify, they should first win all their remaining games. It will take them to 10 points.
Then, the Netherlands would want one of Australia or New Zealand to lose all their remaining games, while Pakistan and Sri Lanka should lose at least one of their three matches. It will leave Pakistan and Sri Lanka with a maximum of eight points.
Moreover, Afghanistan should lose at least two more, leaving them with eight points. If the points tie, it will be dependent on the net run rate. The Netherlands have the third-worst NRR and would require a massive boost to pip other teams with equal teams.
England have played six matches but have won only one. The defending champions are sitting at the bottom of the points table, but they still have an outside chance to make it to the next stage. First of all, England should win all the remaining three matches; they can’t afford more losses with such a poor net run rate.
Secondly, the English team would want one of Australia or New Zealand to suffer defeats in all three games. Then, Afghanistan should lose at least two more, while Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Netherlands should lose at least one more and not attain more than eight points. England would need to win big in the remaining matches to boost their net run rate as well.
Bangladesh can’t make it to the semifinal now. They have played seven games and won only one. Even if they win the last two matches, they can only go to six points, and the four teams already have eight points.