Melbourne [Australia]: The intriguing situation in Group One has taken on a fresh twist due to two no-result games played in Melbourne on Friday. Due to the shared points, all teams are still eligible to advance.
In Group 1 still everything is up for grabs. After two games, New Zealand are the only unbeaten team in Group 1. Their 89-run victory over Australia has given them a significant advantage in the Net Run Rate column.
If they don’t suffer a bigloss in the remaining games, a Net Run Rate of +4.450 is almost as good as an additional point.
However, with the other teams sharing points, the Black Caps are in the lead in the qualification race despite the washout and shared points against Afghanistan that might yet go against them.
With two sets of games left, New Zealand’s match against Sri Lanka on Saturday could see them seize control of the group with a win, but a loss would turn the group into a six-way tussle for qualification.
With a victory at the MCG, one of Australia or England could have advanced significantly closer to the semifinals, but due to Friday’s washout, they are now tied with Ireland, who also shared a point with Afghanistan, on three points.
The top two appear to be partially determined by run rate, with Sri Lanka and England now leading the remainder of Group 1 after New Zealand.
Australia was in a precarious situation as a result of the crushing loss they suffered to New Zealand in their opening group game, as well as the effect it had on NRR.
The hosts of the competition are aware that they cannot afford to lose any more games. Although two losses don’t mathematically eliminate a team’s prospects of qualifying, it will probably take a lot of luck for them to do so with only three victories in the Super 12 stage.
The triumph over Sri Lanka in Perth on Tuesday, especially because of Marcus Stoinis’ late run-flurry, which enabled them to chase down the target with more than three overs remaining and reduce some of the NRR gap, has boosted the likelihood of a successful championship defence.
Additionally, the run rate appears to be a more likely contributing element in light of England’s defeat by Ireland and the washout between the English and Australian teams in Melbourne.
They have the worst NRR in the group after three games with -1.555. But the schedule favours Australia, at least on paper. The final two games are against the two teams in the group with the lowest rankings, Afghanistan and Ireland, which should give Australia the advantage if it comes down to run rate.
The momentum is not in England’s favour. Jos Buttler’s team is in trouble in Group 1 after a defeat to Ireland that was influenced by rain was followed by a washout against Australia.
Now more than ever, the meeting with New Zealand is important. Win that, and England will be able to make a significant statement before the decisive encounter. If they lose, qualifying will be completely out of their control or, depending on the interim results, may even be impossible.
What England does know is that they should be able to advance with two decisive victories in their next two games, first against the Kiwis and then Sri Lanka.
The fact that England’s final game is the final one in the group gives them an advantage in the Net RR puzzle. England will have a significant advantage against Sri Lanka if qualification aspirations are still alive at that point because they will know exactly what they need to do.
By the time of New Zealand’s match against Sri Lanka on Saturday, Group 1’s composition will be much apparent.
The Asia Cup 2022 Champions are hoping to pull off a shock and place in this group’s top two. But in order to do that, they’ll probably need to defeat one or more of the teams that are placed higher than them in the MRF ICC Men’s T20I Team Rankings.
Given that they had lost to the tournament’s hosts, Sri Lanka can’t really afford another setback.
But they are up against a strong opponent in New Zealand. The 2021 T20 World Cup champions demonstrated their balanced attack and potent batting lineup in their decisive victory over Australia earlier in the competition.
Another victory for New Zealand would put them in charge of the group thanks to their point from the postponed Afghanistan game and that higher NRR.