With seven days of the 2017 Champions Trophy already played, the big question on everyone’s lips is which four teams will qualify for the semi-finals? Here we try to give out a list of various permutations that should make it easier for cricket fans to understand the semi-final qualification scenarios.
For one, the Group A is interestingly poised. England are the only team that have already qualified for the semi-finals with two wins from two games, and will need to see who joins them in the final four stage.
New Zealand are playing Bangladesh and Australia are taking on England in the final two league games of that group.
What this means is irrespective of the New Zealand v Bangladesh result, if Australia beat England, they are through to the semi-finals. However, if either New Zealand or Bangladesh win and Australia lose, then the winning team will join England in the semi-finals.
Similarly, if the New Zealand-Bangladesh game gets rained off and Australia win, the latter is through. However, in case of a NZ-Bangladesh encounter getting rained off and Australia also losing to England, it will lead to a three-way tie for the second place with two points apiece. In that case New Zealand will get knocked out and the team between Australia and Bangladesh with a better net run-rate will go through.
The other group, Group B looked like it was headed in one direction before South Africa went down to Pakistan. What that implies is that it has now become an open group with all teams in with a chance to make the semi-finals.
Pakistan and South Africa have two points from two games, while India have two from one. Sri Lanka have played one and are yet to open their account.
If Sri Lanka win their next game against India, it will lead to their final league games – India-South Africa and Pakistan-Sri Lanka – to be virtual quarter-finals.
If, however, India defeat Sri Lanka, they will move to four points from two games and with a far superior NRR have a much better chance of making the semi-finals.
However, if India lose to South Africa in their final league game and Pakistan beats Sri Lanka, it will lead to a three-way tie for the top two spots with four apiece. In this case, the side with the better NRR will go through.
As things stand, India and South Africa have positive NRRs while Pakistan and Sri Lanka have negative ones.
Our 2017 Champions Trophy predictions:
England, Australia, India & Pakistan to make the semi-finals.