08 November 2023, 01:15 pm
The round robin stage of the World Cup is almost at its end. And after only 6 matches the semi-final will start. However, a team is yet to secure a place in the semis. Last night (Tuesday) Australia confirmed the Super Four by defeating Afghanistan in an incredible comeback match. Their opponents have already been fixed. They will face South Africa in the semis. However, India’s opponents at the top of the table are yet to be decided.
Afghanistan set a target of 292 runs to Aji Bahini by batting yesterday at the Wankhede in Mumbai. In response, they went down to bat and fell into utter disaster. But after losing 7 wickets for 91 runs, Pat Cummins’ team wrote a great story of comeback. Where Glenn Maxwell scored the fastest double century of the World Cup in 128 balls. At the other end, he was accompanied by Cummins who bit the ground in a great defensive attitude.
As a result, a 3-wicket win gives Australia 12 points. Which ensured them to play in the semi-finals of the World Cup from number three. India and South Africa are already in the top two positions respectively. Despite getting equal points, South Africa’s run rate is 1.376, Australia’s 0.861. According to the schedule, Aji and Protea, who are ranked second and third, will face each other in the semis. Top seed India will face the fourth team to enter the semis.
Three teams are still competing for that position. A team between Pakistan, New Zealand and Afghanistan has a chance to advance to the semis. Everyone has one more match left. Semi-final fate will be determined in those matches! As such, New Zealand is quite ahead. They can advance to the semis if they win. To qualify for the Super Four, Pakistan need to have a margin of 130 runs more than New Zealand’s winning run. If the Kiwis win by a wicket, that equation will be even more complicated!
Another fighting nation, the Afghans, had a big chance of victory last night. Catch misses and Maxwell’s superhuman innings did not allow them to succeed in that phase. If they win the match, they will advance in the points table and will be ahead in the race for the semis. Their opponent in the last match is South Africa. In the match on November 10, Rashid-Shahidis will not only have to win, but by winning by a big margin, there will be pressure to increase their net run rate.
So far, each team in the run-up to the semis has played 8 matches each. After winning 4 matches each, Pakistan, New Zealand and Afghanistan’s points are equal to 8. Kiwis are ahead in net run rate. Their net run rate is 0.398, placing them fourth in the table. Pakistan at number five has a net run rate of 0.036. After that, Afghans’ run rate is -0.338.
New Zealand will play Sri Lanka tomorrow (November 9) at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. Besides, Afghanistan and South Africa will fight at Ahmedabad Narendra Modi Stadium on November 10. Pakistan and England will face each other at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on November 11.