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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 18 February, 2003, 18:15 GMT
Group B hangs in balance
BY Martin Gough
BBC Sport in Benoni

A degree in mathematics is needed to work out Group B

No sooner had the covers been brought out, with the match between West Indies and Bangladesh headed for abandonment, than calculators came to the fore.

The match proved that anything can still happen in Group B before three teams qualify for the Super Six round.

But, as long as the rain does not interfere again (and assuming no upsets), there are four possible scenarios.

With New Zealand having forfeited their match against Kenya, two crunch matches remain:

  • Sri Lanka v West Indies on 28 February
  • South Africa v Sri Lanka on 3 March

    Scenario 1: WI bt SL, SL bt SA

    Sri Lanka would finish top of the group, with West Indies second and New Zealand third.

    Hosts South Africa would miss out, having failed to win all of their remaining group matches.

    Scenario 2: WI bt SL, SA bt SL

    South Africa skipper Shaun Pollock
    Pollock can rest easier now SA's fate is in their hands

    West Indies would top the group with 18 points to qualify for the second round.

    But the next two spots would have to be decided on net run rate, with Sri Lanka, New Zealand and South Africa all level on 16 points each and one win against each of the other two.

    Net run rate is based on the speed at which a team completes victory, or is beaten. The rate from each match is aggregated.

    Scenario 3: SL bt WI, SL bt SA

    Again, South Africa would become the third home nation to fall at the first hurdle.

    Sri Lanka would finish top, with New Zealand and West Indies behind them in that order.

    Scenario 4: SL bt WI, SA bt SL

    West Indies are the team to miss out, with the other three sides all on 16 points.

    Nett run rate would decide their order, but the trio would all qualify.

    What does each team need to do?

    New Zealand: Win their remaining games, all against minor nations, as convincingly as possible.

    South Africa: Beat Sri Lanka and win their remaining games convincingly.

    Sri Lanka: Either beat one of South Africa and West Indies, or down Canada and Kenya convincingly.

    West Indies: Beat Sri Lanka, or hope South Africa beat Sri Lanka.

    What about upsets or bad weather?

    The weather outlook is not good for the next week at least, and minor nations have caused chaos in the past - like Kenya against the Windies in 1996 and Bangladesh against Pakistan in 1999.

    If rain intervenes again, it will be time to dive again for the calculators.

    Hooper bemoans poor batting
    13 Feb 03 |  West Indies
    Windies look for Bangladesh boost
    17 Feb 03 |  Team Pages
    Kiwi fightback shatters Windies
    13 Feb 03 |  World Cup
    Hooper applauds 'class' Lara
    09 Feb 03 |  West Indies

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