Can Sri Lanka still make the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup?

A look at Group 1 and how each team can qualify for the last four with one game remaining

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On October 16, Sri Lanka were thrashed by little-heralded Namibia on the opening day of the T20 World Cup in Geelong.

Seventeen days later, they are still in the running for a place in the semi-finals – although their chances are slim.

The weather forecast is set fair for both match days, so, with one round of games to play in Group 1, here is what each side needs to do to make it through.

Super 12 Group 1

1) New Zealand

Last match v Ireland on Friday

New Zealand have made all the running in the group so far – but an upset against Ireland would probably send them out. If they beat the Irish, they are guaranteed to go through.

Lose, and Australia would leapfrog them with a win over Afghanistan, and the winner of England v Sri Lanka would do the same.

If New Zealand, Australia and England all win their final matches, the net run-rate tiebreaker rule would be invoked.

New Zealand have carried a massive advantage in this regard since their opening day demolition of Australia, and it would take something highly unlikely for them to be reeled in by their rivals.

New Zealand are in pole position to qualify for the semi-finals. PA

2) England

Last match v Sri Lanka on Saturday

England’s fate remains in their own hands thanks to their rousing win over New Zealand on Tuesday night in Brisbane.

Victory against Sri Lanka would almost certainly be enough to take them through, even if New Zealand and Australia win their matches.

England have a net-run rate advantage of more than 0.8 over the Aussies. Given the narrowest win over Sri Lanka, Australia would need to win by around 50 runs to advance past them.

Even with a hefty win for Australia, England still have the benefit of playing a day later, and thus knowing exactly what will be required of them.

England kept their semi-final destiny in their own hands with Tuesday's win over New Zealand. AP

3) Australia

Last match v Afghanistan on Friday

If they assume New Zealand beat Ireland, Australia will need a substantial win over Afghanistan, then hope Sri Lanka beat or tie with England.

4) Sri Lanka

Last match v England on Saturday

As the only side not to have had a match washed out, Sri Lanka can still reach six points if they beat England, while their rivals will finish on either seven or five.

By the time they start their match in Sydney, they will know if they still have a chance, as Australia and New Zealand each play a day earlier.

If one of those sides lose, they can take the second qualifying berth by beating England.

If both Australia and New Zealand lose, Sri Lanka would top through group with victory over Jos Buttler’s team.

Sri Lanka need to beat England to advance to the semi-finals. Getty

5) Ireland

Last match v New Zealand on Friday

It is just about possible for Ireland still to qualify – but highly unrealistic.

They would need to beat New Zealand by a massive margin, thus matching their points total and advancing past them on net run-rate, and hope Afghanistan beat Australia and Sri Lanka thrash England.

6) Afghanistan

Cannot qualify for the semi-finals.

Updated: November 04, 2022, 11:48 AM
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