The ongoing ICC T20 World Cup in Australia had its fair share of excitement in terms of cricketing action on the field. Still, at the same time, it has been a disappointing tournament because of weather intervention. We have seen multiple games getting disrupted by rain, either partially or getting completely abandoned. Afghanistan had to face the brunt of rains as 2 of their games (against Ireland and New Zealand) got washed out without a ball being bowled.
The other team in Group 1 of the Super 12 stage, who are having an unfortunate and frustrating outing due to rain, is the pre-tournament favourites England, led by Jos Buttler. After winning the first game against Afghanistan at the Perth Stadium, the English team moved to Melbourne to play the next set of games. Chasing 158 against Ireland, England was 105/5 in the 15th over when the rain came. They were in a spot of bother but would have fancied their chances of getting over the line due to their batting capability. Persistent rains forced an early finish to the game, and Ireland won the game by 5 runs via the DLS method.
However, the next game at the same venue would have been even more frustrating for the England team. Their 3rd scheduled Super 12 stage was against the hosts, Australia, whom they beat in the recent 3-match series 2-0. Jos Buttler-led side were the clear favourites to win this clash against their arch Ashes rivals Australia at the G. But continuous rains forced an abandonment to the game without a ball being bowled. So this means the group of strong contenders or death is still open, and we still don’t know which of the 2 teams will make it to the Semifinals from here.
How can England reach the Semifinals of the T20 World Cup 2022 from here?
England was undoubtedly considered the team to beat before this tournament started and still are the prime contenders to win the World Cup for the 2nd time in their history. But the uncertain weather in Australia and their surprising loss to Ireland meant England might have to sweat to reach the top 4. They will next face New Zealand at the Gabba, who completely outplayed the hosts Australia in their opening game by 89 runs and are in tremendous form coming into the tournament. Their final Super-12 game is against Sri Lanka, the reigning Asian Champions, and they will be a tricky opposition for England.
New Zealand and Australia have 3 points from their 2 and 3 games, respectively (not counting New Zealand’s game against Sri Lanka), while Ireland has 3 points from their 3 games. However, it is unlikely that the Irish team will reach the next stage as they have to face Australia and New Zealand in the next 2 games. So it will be a 3-way fight between Australia, New Zealand, and England (which is on the expected lines) on which 2 sides will make it to the Semifinals from Group 1. Sri Lanka can be a dark horse in this race, but given their inconsistent form, it is safe to say they won’t go the distance.
For starters, England will need to both their games against New Zealand and Sri Lanka, considering the NRR. as well (Here’s how they calculate NRR). They might also need a few other results going their way, like one of either Sri Lanka or Ireland toppling New Zealand, since their clash against the Kiwis could very well be a virtual quarterfinal. The hosts, Australia, expected to stroll over the line in their remaining 2 group games (vs Afghanistan and Ireland), ending up with 7 points. So this makes the England-New Zealand game very vital, and England can’t afford another slip in this campaign.
Also, New Zealand has a much superior run rate over the rest of the teams in this group, so even a win against them may not be enough, provided New Zealand wins the rest of their fixtures (Sri Lanka and Afghanistan).
So we are heading for an exciting finish as far as the Group 1 of the Super 12 is concerned. With the tournament out some of the unexpected moments one after the other, it is possible that there could be an entry in the SemiFinals. We need to wait and watch as the World Cup reaches its climax.
An avid Cricket follower who likes to write on the gentleman’s game