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T20 World Cup 2022

Why England-Australia is a virtual must-win for both sides

England Ireland T20 World Cup 2022
by Abhishek Mukherjee 5 minute read

Australia and England were among the favourites to qualify for the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup. Less than halfway through the Super 12, however, they find themselves virtually competing for a spot in the semi-final.

Australia, New Zealand, and England – three of the four semi-finalists of the 2021 T20 World Cup – were pitted against each other in Group 1 of the Super 12 of the 2022 edition. They were pooled together with Afghanistan, whose top-eight finish in the previous edition was – to some extent but not entirely – an outcome of Namibia and Scotland also qualifying for the same group. While not expected to make it to the knockouts, Afghanistan have brought down big oppositions over the years.

The First Round threw  into Group 1 Sri Lanka – Asia Cup champions, no less – and Ireland, Afghanistan’s Full Member twin, with a recent 3-2 series win against Afghanistan under their belt. They had qualified for the Super 12 after defeating West Indies, the only team to have won the trophy twice. This was not going to be an easy group.


The group promised intense competition, but defending champions and hosts Australia and top-ranked England were touted as favourites, with New Zealand and Sri Lanka among the also-rans.

It took about four overs of batting from Finn Allen at the Sydney Cricket Ground to sow the first seeds of doubt in the minds of pundits. With Devon Conway batting through the innings, New Zealand built on that start to amass 200-3, then bowled out Australia for a woeful 111. The favourites not only lost their tournament opener, but also their net run rate dropped to -4.45.

Later in the day in Perth, England did better. After Mark Wood was done with a scorching opening spell, Sam Curran (5-10) bowled out Afghanistan for 110. The Afghans kept England at bay for 18.1 overs, but England got home without much fuss. Sri Lanka, meanwhile, beat Ireland comfortably, while the Australian batters, between them, scored at every feasible strike rate to beat Sri Lanka.

That had probably boosted England – until Ireland scored 157 against them and reduced them to 29-3. With rain looming, Dawid Malan and Harry Brook had to keep an eye on the asking rate as well as keep wickets in hand. They failed on both counts, and England were five runs behind the DLS par score when play was eventually called off. The rain never stopped, not only helping Ireland secure two points but also preventing any play in the other match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, between New Zealand and Afghanistan.

T20 World Cup 2022 Super 12 Group 1 Points Table

Two matches into the Super 12, thus, four teams are tied on two points each, while New Zealand have three and Afghanistan are on one. Every team has three matches left each, and it is important to remember that eight points are neither necessary nor sufficient for a semi-final berth. Here is what the teams need to do from here.

Australia: Their poor net run rate (-1.555) means they are placed behind Ireland, but Australia round off the Super 12 with matches against Ireland and Afghanistan. Expect Australia to come out all guns blazing to make up for that net run rate in these matches. Before that, however, they will want to beat England for two reasons: to jump up the points table and to prevent England from doing the same. England’s defeat to Ireland means that if Australia win all their remaining games, they are guaranteed a semi-final spot.

If Australia lose, then their destiny would be out of their own hands. In that case, should England win all their remaining games, and New Zealand win all their games apart from their England fixture, both would be on seven or more points, which is more than Australia would be able to manage.

England: England’s task is more difficult. They do have a net run rate of +0.239, but they are done playing both Afghanistan and Ireland. They now have to play Australia, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka in that order. They will have to beat at least one of Australia and New Zealand, especially the former, for New Zealand already have a head start. Like Australia, if England win all their games, they are guaranteed a place in the last four. But similarly, should they lose, then winning all their games won’t be enough on its own – they will need one of Australia or New Zealand to drop points.

New Zealand: New Zealand play Sri Lanka, England, and Ireland. If they beat England (and Ireland), they are almost certain to qualify – for their net run rate (+4.45) will provide them with a massive edge if they are tied on points with other sides. Even if not, two more wins should be enough.

Sri Lanka: Can Sri Lanka make it? They play New Zealand, Afghanistan, and England. If they beat Afghanistan and one of the other sides, they will be in the hunt. The fact that they beat Ireland with five overs to spare but England took their time against Afghanistan may turn out to be crucial in the end.

Afghanistan: Two matches, one point – it does look bleak. But hey, they play Ireland next. They were the only team to beat Sri Lanka – their next opposition – at the Asia Cup. And finally, Australia – at Rashid Khan’s adopted home, in Adelaide. Too unrealistic?

Ireland: If they could beat England, why not Afghanistan? They will not be favourites against Australia and New Zealand, but what if it rains again? For Ireland, there is something else at stake as well. Since they are outside the top 10 in the rankings, a top-four finish in the group will guarantee them a place in the 2024 World Cup (the other five teams in the group will qualify anyway).

Scotland and the Netherlands: There will be two teams from the European Qualifiers in 2024. They will cheer for Ireland here, for an Irish qualification for 2024 will make it easier for both Scotland and the Netherlands. If Ireland do not make it to the top four in the group, at most two of the three teams will feature in the next edition.

Bet365 will be Live Streaming all of the T20 World Cup matches direct to your iPhone, iPad or Android device, as well as desktop. This means that every T20 World Cup fixture will be available to bet365 customers wherever they are in the world.

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