Played: 6, Points: 4, NRR: -0.229, Match remaining: v Pakistan
New Zealand lost three matches by very close margins, one wicket (against England), two wickets (South Africa) and three runs (West Indies). These three defeats mean that the home team are on the verge of relegation. If England win their last two games – against relatively weaker Bangladesh and Pakistan – then at least three teams will have over six points, New Zealand’s most.
Then they will have to hope that the West Indies lose their last two games – against Pakistan and South Africa – and remain at six with a lower net mileage, and India also lose their last two games – against Bangladesh and South Africa – and remain at six. four points as their NRR is currently much better than New Zealand’s. (Even if New Zealand score 300 in their last game and win by 200 points, their NRR would still only improve to 0.427, below India’s current 0.456.) In this case, New Zealand could qualify as the fourth team but right now they’re clutching at straws.
Played: 5, Points: 4, NRR: 0.327, Matches remaining: v Pakistan, Bangladesh
England have had a poor start to the tournament but with two games to go they have an excellent chance of reaching the semi-finals. They have several advantages ahead of the last week of the group stage: the two remaining opponents are weaker teams, and their NRR is a relatively good .327 (which can increase even more with convincing wins).
If they finish with eight points, they should be in a good position in the NRR battle. (India is currently slightly ahead at .456, but one of their remaining games is against South Africa, who are yet to lose a match.)
For England to lose even after winning the last two games, the West Indies have to win the last two matches to reach ten points, and South Africa have to beat Australia for them to also go beyond eight. If India wins the last two tournaments and remains above England in NRR, then England will be relegated. They will hope that the weather in Christchurch and Wellington will remain clear, which will give them the opportunity to score four points and improve their NRR.
However, if they lose any of those matches (or if one of them is lost), they could be in trouble.
Played: 5, Points: 4, NRR: 0.456, Matches remaining: v Bangladesh, South Africa
India is in the same position as England in terms of points and running speed, but one significant difference is that one of their remaining games is against South Africa. India’s best chance will be if they win their last two and South Africa or the West Indies don’t advance more than eight points. This can happen if West Indies lose even one of their two remaining matches, or if South Africa loses all three. Both India and England would then both qualify with eight points (if England also won the last two), with West Indies/South Africa relegated due to lower NRR.
Conversely, if the West Indies win the last two matches and South Africa beat Australia, then three teams will finish with more than eight points. Then, even with wins in two games remaining, India will be battling for fourth place with England (if they also finish in eighth).
Played: 4, Points: 8, NRR: .226, Remaining matches: against Australia, West Indies, India
Despite winning all four matches, South Africa still has some work to do to confirm their place in the semi-finals. This can happen if they win another game and raise their points to ten.
However, their three remaining games were difficult. If they lose all three, they could well be relegated as the West Indies could finish with ten points and England and India could get eight with better net records.
Played: 5, Points: 6, NRR: -0.930, Remaining matches: vs Pakistan, South Africa
The West Indies are currently third in the points table, but their NRR of -0.930 is the worst of any team vying for the semi-finals. They will qualify if they win their remaining two matches, but if they lose one – and if England beats Pakistan and Bangladesh – then the West Indies will have to hope India lose at least one of their two remaining games and finish with no more than six. points. The West Indies then qualify, as do Australia, South Africa and England.
Played: 4, Points: 2, NRR: -0.342, Remaining matches: against India, Australia, England
Theoretically, Bangladesh could score eight points, but their remaining matches will be against some of the strongest teams in this competition.
Played: 4, Points: 0, NRR: -0.996, Matches remaining: vs West Indies, England, New Zealand
Theoretically, Pakistan could also qualify, but having lost 18 consecutive over-50 World Cup matches, their immediate goal would be to keep the number of matches from reaching 21 by the end of that tournament.
S. Rajesh is the statistics editor for ESPNcricinfo. @rajeshstats