(ESPN Cricinfo) While Pakistan’s win against South Africa has given them a chance to qualify for the quarter-finals without getting into the complications of net run-rate, Zimbabwe’s loss to Ireland has made them the second team from Group B to be knocked out of this World Cup after UAE.
With a win against West Indies, India have ensured a place in the last eight. They are likely to end up topping the group should they win at least one of their remaining two games – against Ireland and Zimbabwe. South Africa’s loss to Pakistan hasn’t done any real damage to their chances of qualifying, as they still have a game against UAE left. Their superior NRR will ensure that they qualify as the second team from Group B in the event that Ireland lose at least one of their two remaining games. This leaves three teams – Pakistan, Ireland and West Indies – fighting for the remaining two spots in the last eight.
Pakistan – Pakistan have one match left against Ireland. A win in this game will send them through to the quarter-finals. A loss though, will bring NRR into play. Should it come to that for Pakistan, they will be fighting for a berth in the quarter-finals based on NRR with West Indies, assuming the likely event of West Indies beating UAE in their final game.
Ireland – Ireland have six points and two matches still to go – against India and Pakistan. They have to win only one of those games to sail through to the knockouts. Though Ireland managed to add two important points to their account with their win over Zimbabwe, the narrow margin means that they haven’t improved upon their negative NRR. As it stands, Ireland have the worst NRR (-0.820) out of the three teams in contention. Losses in both these games will, in all likelihood, send them out of the World Cup because of their inferior NRR, given the likely even of West Indies beating UAE.
West Indies – West Indies are the only team out of the three in contention to be completely dependent on other results to qualify. They will have to beat UAE to begin with and preferably by a huge margin. If Ireland beat India, that will leave only one spot to fight for. If Pakistan also lose to Ireland, then it will come down to NRR between West Indies and Pakistan. A Pakistan win in that game will knock West Indies out. If Ireland lose both their remaining games, West Indies will in all likelihood qualify ahead of Ireland on account of their superior NRR.
If the game between India and Ireland is washed out or tied, then Ireland will advance to the quarter-finals. Pakistan will then need an outright win against Ireland or a NRR healthy enough to pip West Indies. If any of the last two games in Group B – Pakistan v Ireland or West Indies v UAE – is washed out or tied then it will be curtains for West Indies.