Can India be dethroned from top of Group B?

For Sri Lanka or Pakistan to top the group, they need to beat the opponent by a very huge margin.

Despite a higher Net Run Rate, Sri Lanka needs a bigger win if it wants to set up the relatively easier semifinal clash against Bangladesh.   -  Getty Images

With an emphatic win over South Africa, India has sealed a place in the semifinals of the ICC Champions Trophy.

The winner of Pakistan versus Sri Lanka on Monday will join India as the other semifinalist from Group B. However, it is not just the matter of winning this match. Any side would like to avoid meeting England in the semifinals as the host is in the terrific form. This is possible only if the winner of Pakistan-Sri Lanka match also finishes as the group-topper, as, in that case, it will take on Bangladesh.

India, with 4 points and a net run-rate (NRR) of +1.370, is currently at the top of Group B. South Africa is out of the competition. Both Sri Lanka and Pakistan have two points each with a negative NRR (-0.879 for Sri Lanka and -1.544 for Pakistan). The winner of Monday’s game will end up with 4 points. However, India — in all probability — will still retain the top slot. For Sri Lanka or Pakistan to top the group, they need to beat the opponent by a very huge margin. The enormity of the task can be gauged by the following scenarios:

For Sri Lanka to top the group:

If Sri Lanka bats first, it needs to beat Pakistan by about 294 runs.

If Sri Lanka bat second, it needs to chase a target of:

  • 300 in 11.2 overs
  • 200 in 7.2 overs   
  • 100 in 2.4 overs

For Pakistan to top the group:

If Pakistan bats first, it needs to beat Sri Lanka by about 267 runs.

If Pakistan bats second, it needs to chase a target of:

  • 300 in 13 overs
  • 200 in 8 overs   
  • 100 in 1.4 overs

The team batting second can take a few balls more if the winning shot is a boundary. Still, the task is almost impossible for the chasing side.

The teams' best bet remains in batting first and scoring a huge total and then trying to bowl the opposition out for a meagre total.

Note: In case Sri Lanka-Pakistan match is tied / abandoned / no result, both teams will share one point each and Sri Lanka will advance by virtue of their better net run-rate.

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