Group B

19 Mar 2011 by Vinay Anand in ICC Cricket World Cup 2011,News

In a scintillating chase which swayed all through, South Africa snuck through, holding their nerve as they beat India in a close tie at Nagpur. Group B gets increasingly interesting with each match making it harder to predict the 3rd and the 4th spots leading into the knock outs. After a thwarting defeat against the West Indies at home, the Bangladeshis looked all but out. But, a fabulous turn around against the English has ensured they too are in with a chance for the quarters. England looked scathy in that encounter and Strauss and co need another “comeback” to stand a chance of going any further this World cup.  
Despite India’s loss to South Africa last evening, nothing has really changed as far as those two teams are concerned and they should make it through to the quarters comfortably. West Indies meanwhile are on an uphill, a solitary win against England or India would see them through as well. Even if they go on to lose both their remaining fixtures, a high NRR (Net Run Rate) serves them in good stead as they look likely to progress to the next round.

India, are currently leading the pack and are cruising their way into the knockouts. Netherlands, despite an impressive start stand no chance this World cup and must improve considerably if they want to make another World cup appearance. Ireland on the other hand, have played laudable cricket but still find themselves in a precarious position. However, they still do stand the tiniest of chances of going through. For that to happen, the Irish have to win and win with huge margins against both South Africa and Netherlands. Despite this, England and West Indies’s results need to go in their favour too. Highly unlikely, I would say.
The real race is between England and Bangladesh. England are a point ahead but are a match short and a win for England still may not do the trick for them, theoretically at least.
Theoretically speaking, even India, West Indies and South Africa may miss out. Here’s how:

How can India be eliminated?
Albeit only in theory, this indeed is a possibility. For this to happen, WI must down India, England must beat WI (with a big margin), Bangladesh must beat RSA, RSA must beat Ireland and Bangladesh must beat the Netherlands.
With this, the WI will top the group with 8 points followed by Bangladesh and South Africa with 8 each and England with 7 (Higher NRR than India).
Only in theory, nevertheless, cricket’s a funny game.

How can West Indies be eliminated?
Not many would have even thought that the West Indies would progress to the 2nd round of the World cup but an impressive couple of weeks and a few star performances has made this happen.
The WI should qualify to the next round but again, could be eliminated. For this to happen, India must beat WI, England must beat WI, Bangladesh must down South Africa and Bangladesh must beat Netherlands.
With this, India will top the group with 9 points, followed by South Africa and Bangladesh at 8 points each and England with 7 points.
The way WI cricket has gone over the past decade, this sure is a possibility.

How can South Africa be eliminated?
One of the favourites to lift the trophy, South Africa too might find themselves out before the knockouts.
For this to happen, WI must beat India, England must beat WI, Bangladesh must beat South Africa, Ireland too must beat South Africa and Bangladesh must beat the Netherlands.
With this, the Windies and Bangladesh will end up with 8 points, closely followed by India and England at 7.
This seems highly unlikely as South Africa must lose to Ireland. Nevertheless, K O’Brien may just have different ideas.

How can England be eliminated?
England after a huge Ashes win have failed to discover form in the One day format. A loss to WI might spell doom for the English
However, a win would not guarantee them a spot either as if India may end up with a better NRR or more points if they beat WI.
Spots are up for grabs. All the action is happening in Group B. The quarter finalists from Group A is a no brainer. I would still have my money on England making the last 4 (from B) with India, RSA and Windies filling up the rest.
Nevertheless, an interesting week lies ahead and England and Ireland will be hoping a lot of other results go their way too.

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