The World Cup semi-final scenario which could attract a billion viewers
New Zealand’s 119 run spanking by a rampaging English outfit means the Cricket World Cup semi-finals are all but locked in.
India and Australia have been safe in the final four for a while but remain in a tussle for top spot. England secured their semi-finals birth for the first time since 1992, and despite consecutive losses, New Zealand will finish fourth and proceed to the semis – unless Pakistan can pull off an almighty cricket miracle.
It goes like this: Pakistan has one game remaining against Bangladesh, and if they win they will be equal with New Zealand on 11 points. However, New Zealand has a far superior net run rate and will proceed to the semis in the event of a tie.
But here’s where it pays to believe in miracles if you’re Pakistani: if Pakistan bats first and scores 400 runs before demolishing Bangladesh for 84 runs or fewer, Pakistan’s net run rate jumps above the Kiwis. The chances of that happening? Slim – Bangladesh’s lowest score this tournament is 244.
Australia sits on top of the World Cup table and will remain there provided they defeat South Africa in their final pool match on Saturday night. If South Africa remember how to play cricket and knock off the Aussies, and if India defeats Sri Lanka in their final pool match also on Saturday then they will finish on top of the table.
When you crunch the numbers (we won’t be taking a punt on it) it is mathematically possible for India to face Pakistan in a World Cup semi-final.
Come to think of it, it’s mathematically possible for India the play Pakistan in the World Cup Final.
Let’s hope – for the sake of the world – that DRS doesn’t decide the outcome of that entirely hypothetical and utterly implausible scenario.
ICC CRICKET WORLD CUP LIKELY SEMI-FINALS
SEMI-FINAL 1 – Tuesday, July 9
Australia vs New Zealand
SEMI-FINAL 2 – Saturday, July 13
India vs England