New Zealand and Afghanistan face off in a crucial Super 12 match of the 2021 T20 World Cup at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. The result of the game will not only be of huge significance for both the teams but also for India, whose semifinal hopes hinge on the same. As things stand, New Zealand, Afghanistan and India can all qualify for the semis, with Pakistan having already sealed their place in the last four. However, the equation isn’t straightforward for all the teams.
For New Zealand, the semifinal equation is simple. If the Kane Williamson-led side beats Afghanistan on Sunday, it will qualify for the semis and both India and Afghanistan will be out of the reckoning for the last-four stage.
If Afghanistan beat New Zealand, however, it will leave the door open for either of Afghanistan and India to qualify for the semis. It will also knock New Zealand out of the tournament.
A win for Afghanistan will mean that only them or India will be in a position to finish in the top two spots in Group 2.
Which team qualifies for the semis in such a scenario will depend on the net run-rate (NRR) of the two teams, assuming India beat Namibia in their final group game on Monday.
Afghanistan will go up to six points if they beat New Zealand. It will also boost their NRR, which currently stands at +1.481.
India, however, boast of a NRR of +1.619 at the moment, which is the best in the group. If Afghanistan do win on Sunday, India can qualify for the semis if they beat Namibia the next day and manage to maintain a higher NRR than Afghanistan.
India had begun the tournament on a disastrous note, with the Virat Kohli-led side losing to Pakistan and New Zealand in back-to-back games.
The Indian team then bounced back with wins over Afghanistan and Scotland. The semifinal hopes of the team, however, are dependent on Afghanistan beating New Zealand.
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