A fanatic’s guide to upcoming World Cup key games and  permutations

cricket world cup


By Amrit Bhatta

March 3, 2015

Hi everyone ”“ am enjoying and fascinated by how this cricket can turn out, so see my analysis below”¦

Am assuming PAK beat UAE and Aus account for the superb Afghans on the 4th, further that  Bangladesh  account for  Scotland  on the 5th. An upset by  Scotland won’t matter too much (see below) but Pak losing to the UAE would probably knock them out of the tournament altogether (10-20% chance)

cricket wcc india


India  v WI (Fri 6th):  A win by  India  all but guarantees them top spot in Group B  with only Ire and Zim remaining, and this is important for the QF draw. If WI lose, they can only max out at 6 points when they presumably beat the UAE which is very precarious for them. An upset win here and they are surely through to the QF.  India  definitely do not want to lose this game with SA breathing down their necks. Definitely want to finish 1st in Group B.

cricket wcc pakistan


Pak v SA (Sat 7th):  SA should beat Pakistan, but even if they lose I cannot see them finishing anything other than 2nd in Group B on 8 points after they beat the UAE. Pak is in a similarly precarious position to the WI above and could really use a (huge) upset win to get to 6 points (assuming they beat the UAE) before their last game against  Ireland.

cricket wcc Ireland

Ireland  v  Zimbabwe  (Sat 7th):  If  Ireland  win they move to 6 points in Group B with games against  India  &  Pakistan  to follow and are in with a chance to qualify for the QF even if they lose both of them. A massive game for  Ireland  this one. Zim need to beat  Ireland  to get to 4 points and then need a very unlikely upset against India  to reach 6 points ”“ at this point, however,  India  could be in cruise mode having already qualified in the top 2 and might not care about this game

NZ will probably pulverise  Afghanistan  on the 8th, heading to 1st place in Group A

Australia  v  Sri Lanka  (Sun 8th):  This game has the potential to totally tilt the entire tournament. Because Aus dropped a point with the Bangladesh rainout, if somehow SL can upset them (and they are in white hot form at the moment) then SL will almost certainly leapfrog the Aussies to 2nd place in Group A and condemn the Aussies not only to 3rd place and a QF against South Africa, but then the winner will almost certainly have to face NZ in the semis. All 3 “favourites” in the same half of the draw!! This would be brilliant for both  India  and SL and would probably guarantee one of them a place in the World Cup Final ”“ or open up an unlikely run to a team who has no business being there (England/Bangladesh/WI/Pak/Ire). This is the most important fixture in terms of the tournament endgame right here, folks!

cricket wcc ENg




England  v  Bangladesh  (Mon 9th): A straight knockout game for who qualifies 4th in Group A. Even if  Bangladesh  lose to  Scotland  (unlikely) and NZ (almost certainly) then it still holds that status unless somehow  Afghanistan  can bea tEngland  after this game (not impossible but unlikely). That rainout and consequent point the Bangers earnt against the Aussies was big for them. The winner here will play  India  in the QF.

cricket wcc bangladesh


The rest of the week is pretty straightforward barring any major upsets:  India should beat  Ireland  on the 10th, SL likewise over  Scotland  on the 11th, SA over UAE on the 12th, NZ over  Bangladesh  on the 13th and  England  over  Afghanistan on the same day.  India  on the 14th should account for Zim, though see above. Aussies will beat  Scotland  on the 14th also. Windies better beat UAE on the 15th”¦ which leaves:

Ireland v Pakistan (Sun 15th): This will be a beauty in terms of sorting out Group B. Ireland could be on 4 or 6 points heading into this game (depending on Zim and India), Pakistan in the same position (depending on UAE and South Africa results). WI should be on 6 points, possibly 8 if they beat  India. We know that  Ind  and SA will qualify 1st/2nd but any of Pak/Ire/WI could finish 3rd/4th or 5th and out. Zim could also possibly be in the mix if they beat  Ireland  and somehow  India  “contrive” to lose to them! Very messy and hard to predict this far out

So, to summarise:

Group A:  NZ going to finish first, Aus/SL to finish 2nd and  3rd, Eng/Bang to finish 4th

Group B:  India  should finish first, SA second, and who knows 3rd and 4th (WI, Ire, Pak and Zim in there)

From the point of view of each team:

Australia  have it in their own hands, so to speak”¦ beat SL and will finish 2nd in Group A. Will play Ire/WI/Pak/Zim in a qf and then the winner of  India  and Eng/Bang in the sf. Couldn’t ask for a better roadmap to the final! If they lose to SL then its much much tougher for them”¦ play SA in the qf and then most likely NZ (who should beat Ire/WI/Pak/Zim in their qf) in the semifinal. A lot riding on their game against SL!!!

cricket wcc SLI


For  Sri Lanka, exactly the same position as the Aussies above. Want to finish 2nd, not 3rd in Group A.

cricket wcc NZ



New Zealand  will have an easy quarter final but a tough semi final against SA/Aus/SL to get to  Melbourne.

India  should finish 1st in Group B (even if they drop a game to WI or Zim, though don’t want to risk SA leapfrogging them on net run rate”¦ that they beat SA means nothing in terms of who tops if on equal points). Would love to face  Bangladesh  in the qf I presume, as Eng will make them nervous (lost to them in Aus regularly this season) ”“ and then would face Aus/SL in a semi unless either were upset by Pak/WI/Ire/Zim. Can’t ask for a better position than this, esp if SL can beat Aussies. This also opens the door for a 3rd/4th place finisher  to have 2 good games against the non-favourites and sneak into the final (god forbid!!)

cricket wcc SA


South Africa  will  finish 2nd comfortably and could finish 1st in place of  India  if they slip up (then see above). In 2nd place will have a challenging QF against SL or (worse still) Aus and then a SF against NZ most likely. A very costly loss to  India makes it much harder for them in terms of prospective opposition. They should be praying hard that the WI can upset  India  on Friday”¦ this isn’t that big a reach?

I wouldn’t have bothered speaking up SL or India’s chances at the beginning of the tournament, but by beating SA and if SL can beat Aus then they go from non-favourites to suddenly SF combatants against each other for a place in the final (unless Eng/WI/Pak spoil the party).

England  have to beat  Bangladesh  and  India  and could find themselves in a  World Cup semifinal. They have been terrible, and this would be a travesty ”“ but its far from impossible. I would rather be in their position than  South Africa’s for example. That’s why this tournament format is so inadequate imho.

The other opportunity is for the team that finishes 3rd in Group B. Getting past SL and then  India  is doable and you’re in the final!!! Playing Aus in a qf however should be the end of the road. So much depends on this Aus-SL game”¦ but if the WI can come right at the right time like they did against Pak/Zim then they have a chance.

So, in terms of probabilities ”“ i think it looks good for the Aussies to make the final. Beat SL, thrash their QF opponent and face  India  (or god forbid  England) in the semi. They should do it or have no one to blame but themselves.

Am so bummed that it seems almost impossible that SA and NZ can meet in the final (for those of us that would like this possibility, would need WI to hammer India I think). Look like they are headed to meet in the other semi (unless SL spoil things by beating Aus) and this will be an all-time classic and all coming down to who hits and misses on the day. True coin-toss. I’ll go out on a limb and tip the Proteas.


cricket wcc SA

cricket wcc WI



Hope you’re enjoying it as much as I am!!! Everything above goes out the window if WI beat India”¦  


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