Editor’s note: This article has been updated after Australia vs Afghanistan.
England’s victory against New Zealand made Group 1 at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 all the more fascinating, with five teams in the running for semifinal spots as we head into the final round of the league stage.
A win for Kane Williamson and Co against England would have secured the Kiwis a spot in the last four and made things straightforward. But heading into the final round, five out of six teams had the chance mathematically.
This group was always going to be tricky, with a number of heavyweights pitted against each other. Defending champions Australia were strong contenders, New Zealand and England have two of the best white-ball teams in world cricket, while Sri Lanka were confident having won the Asia Cup recently.
Here’s a look at the scenarios facing each team in Group 1:
Group 1 after AUSvAFG
Saturday 05 November, 13:30 IST, Sydney, Sri Lanka vs England
New Zealand (Q)
Kane Williamson and Co were in pole position to qualify for the semifinals from Group 1 and they sealed it with a win against Ireland and Australia’s close victory.
Defending champions, playing at home, and yet Australia find themselves in a precarious position. Aaron Finch and Co started the tournament with a heavy defeat to New Zealand, before their highly-anticipated match against England was washed-out.
Now, the Aussies – having only won by a small margin – can only go through if Sri Lanka (already eliminated) can defeat England. Or, of course, if the rain decides to give a helping hand.
Of the three teams tied on five points, on paper, England perhaps have the toughest last-round match (with no disrespect meant to Ireland and Afghanistan). A win against Sri Lanka will now be enough to go through to semifinals. If England lose, then Australia will go through. There are no NRR considerations for qualification but it will come into play for deciding the placing of the top two, but NZ have a huge advantage here.
Dasun Shanaka and Co have made a long journey Down Under to get to this point. They lost their first match in Group A to Namibia but beat UAE and Netherlands to reach the Super 12 stage. They then lost to big guns New Zealand and Australia, but remained in contention for a semifinal spot having beaten Ireland and Afghanistan.
But Afghanistan’s loss means Sri Lanka are now out of semifinal contention.
Ireland threatened an upset there for a while against New Zealand and would have dearly loved a chance to finish fourth in the group but it wasn’t to be.
Mohammad Nabi’s team gave Australia a right proper scare but were unlucky in the end because of two complete washouts.
Top spot calculations
Given finishing first and second will determine who the teams face in the semifinals, it’s worth taking a look at the scenarios for finishing top of the group.
England have to win by a massive margin against Sri Lanka to topple New Zealand off the top spot. (Numbers will be updated shortly).