Who’ll make the World Cup semifinals?

Halfway through the group stage of the World Cup, Afghanistan and South Africa are out of the qualification race. India, New Zealand, England and Australia are at the top of the table as of now and it’s difficult to see more than one of these missing out on a semifinal slot.

That leaves Bangladesh, West Indies, Pakistan and Sri Lanka – possibly in that order – fighting for a possible fourth place.

WORLD CUP SCHEDULE | POINTS TABLE

New Zeeland

New Zealand

Unbeaten so far, but have arguably the toughest back end among all teams. Definite chance of semifinal slot, but top 2 finish could prove a tough ask.

England

Have three of the current top four still to play, but barring a blip against Pakistan have been imperious. Almost certain to qualify, would be disappointed not to finish in top 2.

Australia

Barring a loss to India, have shown signs of their old dominating style. Still to come up against England and New Zeeland, but qualifying near certain. Top 2 finish no pipedream.

India

All wins, barring a washed out game so far. Would fancy their chances of winning most of the remaining games. Target will be to beat England and top the group stage.

Bangladesh

Have punched above their presumed weight, but have three hurdles in India, Australia and Pakistan if they have to qualify for the semis. Outside chance.

Sri Lanka

A pale shadow of the world-beaters they once were. With India England still to play and a horrible NRR, they’ll have to win everything left to survive the group stage.

West Indies

Have imploded after an impressive start. Their unpredictability and a still decent NRR gives them an outside chance of qualifying, but will need to beat India, New Zealand to do that.

South Africa

Performed well below expectations so far. Have only pride to play for in the remaining three group games.

Pakistan

A win against England apart, haven’t looked the part. With a disastrous NRR, even winning the rest may not be enough to qualify.

Afghanistan

Unsurprising bottom of the table. Qualification no longer a possibility, but still can play for bragging rights against India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Windies.

A round robin with several evenly matched teams and a few unpredictable ones is always a forecaster’s nightmare, but the rain factor at the Cup has made it more of a lottery. Windies can ill afford any more washouts while the others will hope if the weather does intervene it does so in games against tough rivals.

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