Three teams still in semifinal fray

Three teams still in semifinal fray

With England qualifying for the Champions Trophy semifinals after surviving a mighty scare from New Zealand, the final spot in the last four will be decided only after the outcome of Group A’s final league match between Australia and Sri Lanka at The Oval on Monday.

England, who had set a target of 170 from 24 overs for the Kiwis in another rain-curtailed match here on Sunday, restricted their opponents to 159/8 to eke out a nervy 10-run win to finish with four points.

The hosts, however, will have to wait for the final league match in Group ‘A’ to know who they will be playing in the semifinals.

As of now, England are on top but Sri Lanka can catch up with them on points if they beat Australia on Monday. They, however, will have to score a big win to upstage the home team from the perch. England have a healthy net run-rate of +0.308 as against Lanka’s -0.517.

If Lanka fail to better their run-rate, England will take on South Africa in the first semifinal on Tuesday at The Oval while it will be an India versus Lanka clash in the second semis here on Wednesday.

New Zealand too have a good chance of making it to the next stage if their trans-Tasman rivals beat Lanka on Tuesday. In that scenario, both Australia and New Zealand will end on three points each and one of the two with better run-rate will go through to the semifinals at the expense of the islanders.

New Zealand, however, stand a better chance of edging ahead as they enjoy the best run-rate (+0.777) in their group while Australia have the worst (-0.960). So, there is a good chance of India taking on the Kiwis for a place in the final.

In case of a washout, which is not a distant possibility, New Zealand will sneak in because they will tie with Lanka, who are currently on two points courtesy their win over England, on three points each but their better run-rate will see them through.
DH News Service

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