The ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 has reached a critical juncture in the group stage, wherein teams have three games left to secure a berth in the semi-finals. A total of 9 teams are still in contention for one of the semi-final spots, with Bangladesh being the only one to be knocked out. No team, yet, has confirmed their progress or been knocked out of contention for the semis. Host nation India is in pole position to make the World Cup 2023 semi-finals as they are atop the standings with six wins in six matches. South Africa, who have won five of six games, along with New Zealand and Australia currently complete the top four.
ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 points table
ICC World Cup 2023 semi-finals qualification scenarios
India, currently on 12 points, need only one more point to secure a semi-final berth in the World Cup 2023. A win or a tie or a no result in either of their final three games will be enough to ensure their progress as all other teams outside the current top four can only get to a maximum of 12 points.
India face Sri Lanka next at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on November 2. It is followed by South Africa on November 5 and their final group-stage match against the Netherlands on November 12.
In case India lose all three matches, an Afghanistan defeat in their next match will seal India’s semi-final berth.
The Temba Bavuma-led South African team need three more points to guarantee a place in the semi-finals. However, they play top-four rivals New Zealand and India, followed by challengers Afghanistan in their final three group games.
Meanwhile, only one win could also be enough for the Proteas to make the knockouts, depending on the results of the teams currently placed between 5th and 10th positions on the points table.
New Zealand began the tournament with four wins on the bounce but lost to India and Australia thereafter. The Blackcaps will need at least two victories from their remaining three matches to advance into the semi-finals.
New Zealand will take on South Africa in Pune on November 1. A win for the Kiwis will help them strengthen their chances of making it to the next round while also potentially opening it to a three-way battle for the second spot in the points table.
On the other hand, the Blackcaps can also go through to the semis despite a defeat to the Proteas by beating Sri Lanka and Pakistan in their other two matches, which would also dent the qualification hopes for those two teams.
Australia are in a similar situation as their trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand. Pat Cummins and Co. need two wins in three games to strengthen their chances of a spot in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 semi-finals.
After defeats in their opening two games, Australia are on a four-match winning streak while boosting their net run rate after a 309-run success against the Netherlands. The five-time ODI World Cup winners will take on reigning champions England next.
A win against England will put them one win away from the next round. However, if they lose to the Three Lions, Australia can still progress with victories against Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
Two defeats, meanwhile, would not necessarily be the end of the road for Australia, courtesy of their net run rate. But they will have to depend on other results to advance to the semis.
Afghanistan bolstered their chances of making the World Cup semi-finals for the first time after beating Sri Lanka by seven wickets on October 30. They can achieve a maximum of 12 points, considering they beat the Netherlands, Australia and South Africa.
However, Afghanistan will need either Australia or New Zealand to lose at least one match by a massive margin or lose two while winning all three of their upcoming encounters in the tournament to stand a chance of progressing to the next stage.
The 1996 World Cup champions Sri Lanka, too, are not mathematically ruled out of semi-final qualification in this edition. They currently have four points and with three matches to go, the Lankans can score a maximum of 10 points.
Firstly, Sri Lanka would need to win all their remaining three games, which includes beating two of the current top four teams, India and New Zealand. Sri Lanka will also need at least two of the five teams currently above them to not notch more than 10 points. They would also need to hope that those teams end up with an inferior net run rate compared to them.
Alike Sri Lanka, Pakistan can also notch a maximum of 10 points in the group stage.
The Babar Azam-led outfit defeated Bangladesh to keep their campaign alive, but also need to win against New Zealand and England in their two remaining matches while also hoping that the current top four teams – India, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa – lose their remaining matches to stand a chance to qualify.
However, even one defeat could end the road for the 1992 World Cup winners if Australia and New Zealand win one of their remaining three matches.
The Netherlands, too, are on four points with three matches to go, wherein they will take on Afghanistan, England and India. The Dutch need to win all three games with a massive victory margin, to stand a chance of making it to their first-ever World Cup semi-finals.
At the same time, they will also hope that no more than three teams finish the group stage with 10 points or more as the Netherlands can score a maximum of 10 themselves.
The defeat against Pakistan knocked Bangladesh out of the World Cup semi-finals race. Even mathematical permutations and combinations can’t see them secure a top 4 spot now.
The defending champions England are all but out of semi-final contention in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, although they can mathematically still qualify. The Englishmen would need to beat Australia, the Netherlands and Pakistan by massive margins and similar to Bangladesh, hope that only three teams finish with more than eight points in the standings.
However, a defeat in either of the three matches would see them exit the tournament in the group stage itself.