After coming this far in T20 World Cup, India cannot afford to lose to Zimbabwe and jeopardise their chances

India may well have cornered the top spot in Group 2 of the ICC T20 World Cup Super-12 stage but Pakistan’s emphatic win over South Africa on Thursday evening — and in the unlikely event of India losing their final game to Zimbabwe on November 6 and some other results not going as per script in the group — it could bring both Bangladesh and Pakistan in contention for a semifinal berth in the showpiece event.

Pakistan scored a thumping 33-run victory over South Africa via DLS method in a rain-reduced Group 2 match at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday. The result ensured it’s all to play for in the final round of Group 2 games.

India are currently in the driver’s seat, having earned the top spot with a total of six points by virtue of their thrilling five-run win against Bangladesh, and the team looks in complete control as they wait for the Zimbabwe challenge, but should they suffer a defeat, the situation could change drastically for the 2007 champions.

South Africa had a chance to officially confirm their spot in the top two with a win over Pakistan on Thursday, but they fell well short of the DLS target and will have to win their final game against the Netherlands to seal a semifinal berth. However, should the Netherlands pull off an upset, it will open the door for either Pakistan or Bangladesh, who face off in the second game on Sunday, to win and book a spot in the final four, according to ICC.

The chances of a Pakistan appearance in the last-four will depend on other results. Should Netherlands or Zimbabwe register a win against South Africa or India respectively, Babar Azam’s side will be in with a chance. But first, they will have to win their game against Bangladesh.

If the Netherlands manage to beat the Proteas, a win over Bangladesh will see Pakistan leapfrog South Africa to six points while Bavuma’s men will remain on five. If Zimbabwe defeat India, Pakistan could be level on points with India. Given both teams would then have the same number of wins, the deciding factor will be the net run rate (NRR), which is where Pakistan (+1.117) holds an edge over India (+0.730).

If both the results from the other matches go Pakistan’s way, Babar Azam’s men could even top Group 2, something that seemed highly unlikely when they lost their opening two matches to India and Zimbabwe.

But as things stand, both India and South Africa are the front-runners. They have to win their respective matches and there is no way they cannot secure their semifinal berths.

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