T20 World Cup Group 2 permutations

With the second round of matches in Group 2 of the T20 World Cup finished we can now look at the possible permutations in that group as well. As far as points go it is actually set up the same way as group one is, but the NRRs are different and actually produce a slightly simpler result.

First what’s already been confirmed: nothing. In theory anyway. In practice Australia are all but through to the semi-finals and are almost certain to top the group as well. Using the same formulae from yesterday, we get that Pakistan would need to win by around forty runs or with 5.2 overs to spare to catch Australia on NRR. That’s just to put Australia into the runners-up spot, however. For Australia to actually be knocked out, India would have to beat South Africa by just as much. It’s pretty safe to assume that Australia will top the group and very safe to assume they will at least advance.

That’s where the safety ends though, all three other teams have decent shots at getting the runners-up position. Pakistan’s match against Australia is first and as discussed above they have very little hope of catching Australia’s NRR. But they are not safe from the two sides below them; they are so close to India they are essentially in a dead heat and only a small amount above South Africa on NRR. This puts Pakistan in almost a must-win scenario. The only way they can advance with a loss is if South Africa then win and not by enough to go ahead of Pakistan on NRR. In practice that means that Pakistan would have to lose by only two or three runs or with only one ball to spare and South Africa could not win by more than four runs or with more than two balls to spare.

So Pakistan essentially have to win, but a victory is actually not enough to get them to safety. They are so close to India that if both sides win it will come down to which of them can do so by more. Although Pakistan are slightly ahead right now, they won’t necessarily come off better if both sides win by the same margin either. A low scoring win by, say, 15 runs counts for more than a higher scoring affair decided by the same margin (which makes sense as 15 runs represents a higher per cent of the total RR in a lower scoring affair) so the specific scores for both sides would come into play if they both won. The upshot is that Pakistan need to win by as much as they possibly can and then hope South Africa do them a favour and either win or lose by a smaller amount than Pakistan win.

South Africa may not be feeling too charitable in that situation, however, as a Pakistan will eliminate the Proteas. South Africa need Australia to win first and foremost, but if they get that they will have more than just a sniff of hope. An Australian win would actually make the South Africa v India match almost a winner-take-all affair. Certainly if India were to win after Australia won then both teams would go to the semi-finals. And if South Africa won after Australia won then probably both teams would go to the semi-finals. The caveat in the second case is that it would actually go down to NRR again between all three of South Africa, India and Pakistan. They are all three close enough together that South Africa’s victory would likely sent them above the other two. To go above India they would need to win by at least four runs or with two or more balls to spare. That would also automatically send them above Pakistan unless Pakistan lost off the final or penultimate ball or by only two or fewer runs. Neither of those are likely, but both are possible, so South Africa must make sure they read their NRR sheets better than they do their D/L sheets!

In summary:
-Australia are all but through.
-Pakistan need to win and then hope that either South Africa also win or that if India win it is by a smaller margin than Pakistan’s win.
-South Africa are out if Pakistan win, but otherwise can advance by beating India by more than four runs/two balls.
-India can advance with a win if Australia also win or by beating South Africa by more than Pakistan beat Australia. A very close defeat to South Africa will also probably be enough.

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