The match between Australia and England in Group 1 of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 on Friday, October 28, was crucial for both teams, keeping the qualification scenario for the semi-finals in mind.
Both teams have lost one match each in the Super 12 stage. However, the hosts and defending champions were in greater trouble as their run rate took a severe beating following the 89-run drubbing at the hands of Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand in their opening Super 12 match in Sydney.
Australia salvaged things to an extent by getting the better of Sri Lanka by seven wickets in Perth, courtesy of a sensational 17-ball half-century by all-rounder Marcus Stoinis, the fastest by an Aussie in T20Is.
Heading into Friday’s big clash, both Australia and England had two points from two games, with one win and one loss. Following the washout at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), they have had to split points. The game being abandoned has made life tougher for the Aussies with regard to their qualification for the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup 2022.
Australia’s T20 World Cup 2022 semi-final qualification scenario
After three matches, Australia have three points to their name – two for the win and one for the washout. New Zealand, England and Ireland also have three points each. However, all three are above the Aussies on the basis of their net run rate. Due to their heavy loss to the Kiwis, Australia’s run rate is an extremely poor -1.555.
For Australia to qualify, they will need to win both their remaining matches by very big margins. That way, they will boost their run rate and finish with seven points. They take on Ireland (October 31) and Afghanistan (November 4).
The Aussies, however, also need other results in the group to go their way. If two teams in the group end up with more than seven points, the defending champions will get knocked out.
New Zealand have three games left. If they win all three, they will finish with nine points. England have two matches remaining and, if they come out on top in both, they will end up with seven points. Their impressive run rate of +0.239 will also help their cause.
Ireland also have three points from three games, but their remaining two clashes are against Australia and New Zealand.
Sri Lanka are on two points from two matches and will finish with a maximum of eight points if they will their remaining three games. In the context of Group 2, the Sri Lanka-New Zealand clash on Saturday, October 29, will be crucial. If New Zealand win, they will remain on top of the points table with five points. If Sri Lanka win, they will jump to the top spot with four points.
A defeat for the Kiwis on Saturday will also open up the group as they will remain on three points. In that case, it could be a close battle between New Zealand, Australia, England and Sri Lanka for the top two spots.