Things in Group A have taken an interesting turn after Namibia’s thrilling win over Sri Lanka in the tournament opener on Sunday. With two matches left to be played on Thursday, all three of Sri Lanka, Netherlands and Namibia are very much in contention for the two available Super 12 spots. Here’s what each team is up against on the path to qualifying for Super 12 as things are getting heated up.
Despite sitting on top of the table with two wins from as many matches, the Dutch are precariously placed because of their inferior NRR. If they lose to Sri Lanka on Thursday, they stand eliminated unless UAE turns the tables against Namibia in the final league game. Sri Lanka has been a bugbear for the Netherlands in this competition in the past and has rolled them out for 39 and 44 in the two previous meetings between the two teams, albeit both came in Asian conditions. For them to go through with a loss against Sri Lanka, UAE has to beat Namibia. If the Netherlands win on Thursday they progress to Group 1 in the Super 12 stage as the topper from Group A.
Even though they lost a cliffhanger to the Netherlands, Namibia still has fate in their own hands thanks to their brilliant win against Sri Lanka in the tournament opener which has put their NRR in good stead. A win against UAE is all Namibia needs to progress to Super 12. However, they can go through even with a defeat to UAE if the Netherlands beat Sri Lanka in the first game on Thursday and their losing margin against UAE is not large enough to pull their NRR below that of Sri Lanka. Namibia plays the final match of Group 1 and they will have the advantage of knowing the exact equation ahead of them before the game.
Sri Lanka is right back in the scheme of things, after the rather unexpected reversal against Namibia, thanks to their bowlers putting together a superb display against UAE. Their NRR is already ahead of the Dutch and all they need is to win their final league game against them. If Sri Lanka loses to the Netherlands, then they would need UAE to get the better of Namibia so that three teams get tied on a win each with NRR being the deciding factor between the three teams. If Sri Lanka loses by 20 runs after conceding 150 against the Netherlands, then Namibia would need to lose by 47 or more runs (chasing 150) for their NRR to fall below that of Sri Lanka.
UAE is mathematically alive still and would need a massive win against Namibia on Thursday in addition to a Dutch win over Sri Lanka to progress. For UAE just to get their NRR to the positive territory, they would need to win by around 80+ runs.
What if rain plays spoilsport on Thursday in Geelong?
If both matches on Thursday get washed out, Netherlands and Namibia will qualify as the two teams from Group A – the former by virtue of points and the latter by virtue of better NRR than Sri Lanka. If only Sri Lanka vs Netherlands game gets abandoned, the Netherlands will qualify and then Namibia would need to avoid a defeat to join them while UAE will be eliminated irrespective of their result against Namibia. If only Namibia vs UAE game gets washed out, then the Netherlands will qualify, UAE will be eliminated and Sri Lanka will join them if they beat the Dutch, or else Namibia will go through.