Sri Lanka's comprehensive defeat of India in Thursday's Group B match has made matters very simple — as has the fact that all matches in this group have provided a result — from a who-needs-what-to-qualify standpoint, particularly when compared with the relatively convoluted situation over in Group A.
The seven-wicket win by Angelo Mathews' men leaves each team in Group B with two points apiece, which turns Sunday's India-South Africa match and Monday's Sri Lanka-Pakistan fixture into virtual quarter-finals. Here's a look at what each team needs to do to qualify for the semi-finals:
Beat South Africa and qualify for the semi-finals. It's as simple as that — much like the scenario for all the other teams. In the event of a washout, however, India's superior run rate will help them qualify for the semi-finals, regardless of the outcome of the other game.
There's a reason matches of this nature are described as being must-win fixtures, and South Africa will have to defeat India in order to qualify for the semi-finals. That said, if both the India-South Africa and Pakistan-Sri Lanka matches are washed out, the Proteas will qualify alongside India on account of their net run rate. However, if the India-South Africa match is washed out, but the Sri Lanka-Pakistan match yields a result, AB de Villiers and Company will be eliminated.
The wind is back in the Islanders' sails and they will be backing themselves to pip their South Asian rivals and qualify for the semi-finals. Aside from defeating Pakistan, the only other way Sri Lanka can book a berth in the next round is if their own match is washed out, but the India-South Africa fixture produces a result. As mentioned earlier, twin washouts will result in Sri Lanka being eliminated, on account of an inferior NRR.
By now, we've firmly established that every one of these matches is a 'must-win', but this is particularly so for Pakistan, as there is absolutely no other scenario that will see them qualify for the semi-finals. And the reason is that the thumping at the hands of India in Pakistan's first game of the tournament has left the team with the worst NRR in the group — something that was slightly mitigated in the win over South Africa.