Men in blue bank on luck and maths

Former champions hope to improve their nett run-rate

Had Sri Lanka beaten Australia, it would have been all over for India and their Tuesday’s clash against the Islanders wouldn’t have had more than an academic interest. But Lanka’s heavy loss, has revived India’s chances to qualify for the semifinals. For this to happen, though, India have to beat Lanka and then hope for Australia to beat West Indies.

In the event of a wash out, India’s chances will effectively be over. In the event of India and Australia’s wins in their respective matches, three teams in Group F – India, Sri Lanka and West Indies - will be in a three-way tie with two points each and the nett run-rate will decide the second semifinalists from the group.

India’s run-rate (-1.57) is currently the poorest among the contenders for the second semifinal spot with Lanka (-0.60) ahead of Windies (-1.75). But all this can change if India beat Lanka in their final match at St Lucia on Tuesday by at least 20 runs if they bat first, or with 2.1 to three overs to spare if they bat second.

However, if India fail to beat Lanka by the said margin, then they’ll need Australia to beat Windies by a proportionate margin. Big ask but not impossible.

Rough road

* Equation for India to qualify for the semils while batting first:  India have to ensure that the victory margin is not less than 20 runs for whatever target they set. It won’t make any difference whether India make 100 or 200, the margin of victory has to be at least 20 runs. India then need not depend upon the margin by which Australia beat West Indies.

* India batting  second: In this situation, India have to plan their chase with the belief that West Indies would go down to Australia by at least one run which means whatever target they will be chasing, they have to ensure that it’s achieved with 2.1 to three overs to spare. 

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