Group A appears to be easier than Group B when it comes to deciding which four teams will qualify to the Quarterfinals. Yet, to get the topper of the group, everyone must wait for the last match of the group when Australia plays Pakistan.
The disappointing performances by the three minnows of Group A – Zimbabwe, Kenya and Canada – have taken the shine away from thier matches. They did provided some good show, such as Kenya against Australia, Canada batting against New Zealand, yet they never came closer to creating an upset. The dismal performances have resulted in the top four teams easily qualifying for the next round. But, the mystery of their order in the group can be unravelled only when they play their last matches at Group Stage.
Standings after Pakistan Zimbabwe Match
Almost half-way through the tournament, New Zealand, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have completed their 5 matches and are left with their last Group match. New Zealand and Pakistan have 8 points from 5 matches, with one defeat each against their name. Sri Lanka and Australia have 7 points each, with Australia being 4th on the basis of Net Run Rate. But, Australia holds the edge as they are the only team in the group who has 2 more matches to go.
Decider Matches Left
Sri Lanka and New Zealand play against each other to decide if New Zealand reaches 10 points or Sri Lanka earns 2 points to jump ahead of New Zealand, who are currently placed at 8 points.
Australia vs Pakistan
The last group match of Group A will decide not only the winner but also let the world know if the ‘weaker’ Australian side of 2011 are stoppable in their 4th consecutive attempt to win the World Cup. If Australia does not create any fuss in defeating Canada in their 5th match, before their last match against Pakistan, they will be placed at 9 points. Pakistan with 8 points will be 4th in group. A win will make Australia topper with 11 points. A win for Pakistan will not ensure top position.
If New Zealand defeats Sri Lanka, and Australia defeats Pakistan, NZ reach 10 points and Australia will top the group with 11 points. Pakistan and Sri Lanka finish 3rd and 4th.
If New Zealand defeats Sri Lanka, and Pakistan defeats Australia, the winners reach 10 points and New Zealand will top the group on the basis of big NRR difference. Australia and Sri Lanka finish 3rd and 4th.
If Sri Lanka defeats New Zealand, and Pakistan defeats Australia, Sri Lanka reaches 9 points and Pakistan with 10 points will top the group. Australia and New Zealand finish as 3rd and 4th. No need of NRR calculation.
If Sri Lanka defeats New Zealand, and Australia defeats Pakistan, Sri Lanka reaches 9 points and Australia with 11 points will top the group. No need of NRR calculation. New Zealand and Pakistan’s NRR decided 3rd and 4th.
Where All Four Can Finish
Considering all the scenario, win for Sri Lanka does not make them topper. They can either finish as 2nd, 3rd or 4th.
New Zealand can either finish as topper or 2nd if they win, 3rd or 4th if they lose.
Pakistan can be either 1st or 2nd with victory or 3rd or 4th with loss.
Australia can be either topper with victory, 2nd, 3rd or 4th with loss.
Before the last matches of big four only few things are clear.
Sri Lanka cannot be the topper of the group.
Australia cannot finish last in the group.
Pakistan can finish anywhere depending upon their and other match.
New Zealand can finish anywhere in the group.